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.

Buffalo

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.

Cougar

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.

Prairie Dog

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?

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Date Updated: January 18, 2001