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National Zoo Ferrets At Virginia Conservation Center On National Ferret Day (WATCH)

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/ 2/2012 1:02 pm Updated: 04/ 2/2012 1:38 pm

Blackfooted Ferret
Rosebud, a black-footed ferret born April 15, 2011 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.

WASHINGTON -- Why yes, it is National Ferret Day.

In honor, check out the National Zoo's supremely adorable Ferret Cam.

The camera shows baby black-footed ferrets -- called "kits" -- at the National Zoo’s Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.

It's something of a miracle these kits exist. Black-footed ferrets were thought to be extinct, until some two dozen of them were captured in Wyoming in the early 1980s.

Though the species is still listed as "endangered," the population is coming back thanks to breeding programs. Last year, more than 50 baby black-footed ferrets were born at the Conservation Biology Institute; 670 black-footed ferrets have been born there altogether, according to the National Zoo's website.

There are now more than 1,000 black-footed ferrets in the wild. This terrific article from Smithsonian describes how these little animals, bred in facilities like the one in Front Royal, are taught survival skills before being released back into nature.

Black-Footed Ferrets
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Flickr photo by Smithsonian's National Zoo, used under a Creative Commons license.

RELATED VIDEO: Awww -- a video about black-footed ferrets put out by the the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Flickr photo by Smithsonian's National Zoo, used under a Creative Commons license.

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