A Colorado homeowner stumbled onto something they probably never thought they would find in their own garage. In fact, what he stumbled onto was the rarest mammal in North America. A black-footed ferret. Yes, you read that right, Outsiders, the black-footed ferret is the rarest mammal in the entirety of North America and one of them was having a good ole’ time in a Colorado garage.
Just how crazy was it for this homeowner in Colorado to find such a mammal in his garage? Biologist Ed Schmal said of the incident, “This is extremely rare.”
He continued, “Black-footed ferrets are nocturnal and extremely shy. For some reason, this one left the colony and was seeking shelter. We’re just glad it appeared healthy, not starving or sick, and we were able to capture it and return it to the colony.”
Whoa. Thankfully, they were able to secure the little fella and return him back to his colony unharmed. It is odd, though, like the biologist said that he found his way into that person’s garage in the first place. This is one of the many moments we wish animals could talk so we could find out just how this rare critter made the trek to this particular garage at that particular time. We will never know.
From the Colorado Parks & Wildlife press release they said, “Since 2013, more than 120 black-footed ferrets have been released on the Walker Ranch by CPW biologists, who have invested extensive time and effort to monitor the colonies and distribute plague vaccine in hopes of protecting the black-footed ferrets and the prairie dogs, which is their primary source of food and shelter.”
The Rarest Mammal in North America
120 is not a lot of black-footed ferrets over an eight-year period, huh? That being said, the house that the ferret turned up at wasn’t all that far away from a local colony, but how did he escape and why? Seriously, how did this happen? There are a couple of nicknames for the black-footed ferret. There is the “prairie dog hunter” and the American polecat.
Per the WWF, there are roughly 300 black-footed ferrets in the world. The population is increasing as of late. At one time, they were thought to already be extinct, but that turned out not to be the case. There are hundreds alive and well. The mammals tend to live in grasslands, are 18-34 inches in length and have the scientific name as Mustela Nigripes.
At the end of the day, this could have been a tragic tale of an endangered species, but that did not turn out to be the case, thankfully. The black-footed ferret reunited with his colony in Colorado and everything turned out splendid. Make sure to keep an eye on your garage, Outsiders, you never know what might turn up. It could be a black-footed ferret. It could be another rare mammal. You never know.