HomeOutdoorsRarest Mammal in North America Discovered in Colorado Man’s Garage

Rarest Mammal in North America Discovered in Colorado Man’s Garage

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo credit: Kerry Hargrove via Getty Images)

Even if you’re just going through your daily routine, you never know what will happen. One Colorado man woke up and went to his garage to do his morning workout. Then, he found himself locking eyes with the rarest mammal in North America.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported that Reese Nettles discovered the furry squatter on November 8th. That day, he was going into his garage to lift weights when he heard a strange noise. Something was moving in his garage. So, he looked around the room and saw a small, cute, furry face looking at him from under his table saw. It was a ferret. However, this wasn’t just someone’s escaped pet, as Nettles originally assumed. Instead, it was a black-footed ferret, the rarest mammal on the North American continent.

The Colorado man wanted to keep the ferret safe and in one place. If one of his neighbors was looking for their pet, he’d want to help them find it. Additionally, he snapped a picture of the little fella and sent it over to his friend who works for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. That’s when Nettles discovered that his garage contained the continent’s rarest mammal.

About the black-footed ferret, Reese Nettles said, “He looked like if you put your hand down, he would come right over to you.”

How the Rarest Mammal in North America Ended Up in the Garage

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are working to change the species’ status as the rarest mammal in North America.  To do so, the two organizations have been releasing black-footed ferrets on the Walker Ranch. That ranch is only about five or six miles away from Reese Nettles’ home.

So, we know that a small population of the continent’s rarest mammal lives right down the road. However, what we don’t fully understand is why the animal left his fellow ferrets. Colorado Parks and Wildlife Conservation Biologist Ed Schmal spoke to the Pueblo Chieftain about the strange occurrence. He said that they’ve only had one other report of a black-footed ferret leaving the colony. This is the first they’ve heard of one entering a home.

“This is extremely rare. Black-footed ferrets are nocturnal and extremely shy,” he said. He went on to say that it’s possible that the colony pushed this individual out for one reason or another. On the other hand, Schmal said it might have been chasing prey and just ended up in the garage.

In the end, Nettles and some friends coaxed the ferret into a box and wildlife officers took it back to the colony. Hopefully, with their efforts, the black-footed ferret won’t be the rarest mammal on our continent for much longer.