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Black-Footed Ferret Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

There are many members of the weasel family, and black-footed ferrets are one of them. Come learn about these animals, what they look like, why they are so rare, where they live, and other neat facts about them.

What is a Black-Footed Ferret?

Imagine walking along when you see something suspicious peeking out at you. It has a black mask, black feet, and is very skinny. This bandit is watching you with its dark, beady eyes as carefully as you are watching it. Despite its looks, it's not a really small bank robber. It's a black-footed ferret!

Black-footed Ferret with a Mask
Black-footed Ferret with a Mask

A black-footed ferret is an endangered member of the weasel family that is found in North America. It has a tan, skinny body, a black mask, black feet, and long claws. These ferrets can be around 25 inches long but only weigh between two and three pounds. Even though it looks like it's wearing a disguise, this little guy won't be robbing any banks.

Black-footed Ferrets Back in the Wild
Black-footed Ferrets

Black-footed ferrets are endangered because there are very few of them left in the wild. They almost disappeared forever, but people are helping to slowly return them to their original homes.

What do Black-Footed Ferrets Eat for Dinner?

One of the reasons black-footed ferrets are endangered is because of their favorite meal. These ferrets are carnivores, which means they eat meat, and their favorite meat to eat is prairie dogs. In fact, four black-footed ferrets can eat more than 760 prairie dogs in a year. That is a lot of prairie dogs, considering that four people only eat about 240 hot dogs on average in a year! Black-footed ferrets can sneak and slink their way into the prairie dog's burrow and kill it before it even knows there's an intruder.

Because people tend to think of prairie dogs as pests, they poisoned them and a lot of their habitat was also destroyed. Even though black-footed ferrets will eat other animals like squirrels and mice if they have to, their main dinner is prairie dogs. Without prairie dogs, there are no black-footed ferrets.

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