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Black-footed ferrets return to where they held out in wild

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MEETEETSE, Wyo. — An endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago.

Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday near Meeteetse (me-TEET’-see). Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981.

The discovery made tiny Meeteetse famous as the home of the slinky, nocturnal weasel. Black-footed ferrets appear on the town logo, in a downtown sculpture and even on coffee mugs in a local restaurant. But they’re gone from the wild around here.

Biologists captured Meeteetse’s last ferrets for a captive-breeding program that has released hundreds of ferrets in the western U.S. This will be the first release where the black-footed ferret made its last stand in the wild.

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