American Prairie Exhibit
The Black-footed Ferret
The black-footed ferret is a small-brown animal with a brown and black
marble mask across its face. It has a brown head and black legs and feet.
The ferret belongs to the weasel family. It is a different species found
in a pet store. The ferret eats prairie dogs and lives in prairie-dog burrows.
As the population of the prairie dog decreased, so did the ferret's population.
The ferret was once considered the most endangered mammal in North America.
In 1979, it was thought to be extinct. In 1981 a colony of wild ferrets
was found in Wyoming. Since then, ferrets are being raised in captivity
and have been reintroduced into the wild in Wyoming, South Dakota, and
Montana. The ferrets predators are the wolf and the hawk. A ferret has
four to five pups in each litter. Scientists hope that by the year 2,010
there will be 1,500 ferrets in the wild and in captivity.
My zoo animal is the buffalo. It eats grass, leaves, and shrubs and
gets it's water from creeks and water holes. It can weigh up to 1,300 pounds.
It can run 30 miles an hour. It needs 100 meters of space. The buffalo's
shelter has to be around grass or trees, so that it can eat during the
day. The adult-sized buffalo grows up to five feet tall. The buffalo does
not reach adulthood until the age of five or six.
Did you know that the cougar has spots until it is six month old? A
female cougar is about eight feet long with a three foot tail, and the
male is almost twice as large as the female. The female weighs about 90
pounds. She has about two to four offspring in each litter. The cougar
lives in the mountains. If another cougar enters another cougar's territory,
it gives a warning growl to get it out of its territory. The cougar has
only one predator, humans. Humans used to hate cougars, so they hunted
them. The cougar eats moose, mountain goats, coyotes, bear cubs, porcupines,
rabbits, birds, mice, and grasshoppers. Mostly, it eats deer. It uses its
hind legs to jump up to 23 feet to catch its prey. The cougar can live
up to be 20 years old.
The prairie dog eats grass and plants. It drinks out of rivers and lakes.
The prairie dog's shelter is a hole. The prairie dog needs a lot of land
to build its prairie dog towns. A female prairie dog can have as many as
six babies. I learned that the prairie dog's tail is brown and black, and
its a gentle animal?
Date Updated: January 18, 2001