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February 18, 2022 32 mins

Once thought to be extinct, black-footed ferrets have another chance at survival! Hosts Rick and Ebone explore the reasons that the species is at risk and the animal’s interesting journey on a road to recovery. Pete Gober from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joins the show to give an inside look at the innovative science and technology responsible for these mammals making a comeback. Dr. Oliver Ryder, Director of Conservation Genetics at the San Diego Zoo, also joins the conversation to help tell the story of Elizabeth Ann, the first cloned black-footed ferret that recently celebrated her first birthday!


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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Hi, I'm Ebony Money and I'm Rick Schwartz. Welcome to
Amazing Wildlife, where we explore unique stories of wildlife from
around the world and uncover fascinating animal facts. This podcast
is a production of I Heart Radio and San Diego
Zoo Wildlife Alliance, in international nonprofit conservation organization behind the
San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. They

(00:27):
once numbered in the tens of thousands, But what caused
North America's black footed ferret to practically disappear? Today we're
talking to San Diego Zoo wildlack Aelians conservation partner US
Fish and Wildlife Service about what happened to the black
footed ferret populations and the innovative scientific techniques being used

(00:49):
to help bring them back, including the first ever cloning
of the species. But first, what is a black footed ferret? Hey, Rick,
I'm going to toss that question over to you. What's
the best way to describe? Oh? Boy, come on, Athony,
why don't even start. I mean, they're incredibly adorable but

(01:12):
also powerful carnivorous predators. Now, they're about nineteen long and
have about a five to six inch tail, and they
only wave about one and a half to two pounds.
Oh and they have short legs too, they're kind of
close to the ground. For those of you that are
dog lovers, think the body type of adshund if you will,
and their coloration, it's kind of hard to describe it.
I'll give it a try. Their coat is short and sleek,

(01:34):
it's kind of close to the body, and they have
a beige sandy color to their body that's almost dark
brown on the back and lighter on the belly. They're
white on the forehead and muzzle and throat. But oh
my gosh, you've got this cute little black mask. It's
kind of like a raccoon, a little bandit face, you know.
And as you might guess thanks to their name, they
have black on their lower legs and feet. See Rick,

(01:55):
you mentioned the dots in or the hot dog as
we used to call it as when I was a kid.
But for me, when I see the ferret, I think
of a cat. I think it looks like more like
that an elongated cat, like a cross between maybe a
cat and a weasel. What are its closest relatives? Well,
that's that's a pretty good description everything. I think an
elongated cat is not too far off the mark, because

(02:16):
some of their colorations look like some breeds of certain cats.
So when I worked with ferrets and worked in the
children's of the San Diego Zoo, a lot of times
kids look at them and the way they moved, and
they describe them as a slinky with fur and legs,
which isn't too far off because they're very flexible. But
to answer your question, they are in the same scientific
family as the weasel and mink. So just like the mink,

(02:36):
they are long in skinning their their bodies really perfect
for maneuvering down the tunnels of their prey. In fact,
the spine is so flexible they can even turn around
one degrees and very tight tunnels where most animals would
just need to back out. That's pretty amazing. So speaking
of cats, when I was getting ready for this discussion

(02:56):
and doing some research, because yes, these are goes into
some of these conversations, UM, I was thinking, like, how
did it come to be that we domesticated something like
a cat versus a faret. Well, I think the answer
here might surprise you emany. I think if you would
have actually looked further into the domestication of the faret you,
but would have found out that about two thousand, five

(03:19):
years ago, people did start trying to domesticate ferrets and
they were used as hunting companions. So now fast forward
to today. There are different theories out there as to
what species of faret was used, but most agree it's
the European ferret known as the European pole cat. It's
a species that everyone kind of really agrees on the
domestic faret came from. But to be clear, domestication isn't

(03:41):
just bringing a wild animal into your home and feeding it,
which is really a bad idea about the way, so
don't ever try that. In its simplest terms of the
process of domestication involves selective breeding across several generations, and
it takes a long time, sometimes hundreds or thousands of generations.
And even then, the domestic faret of today isn't always
as domestic acting as your house cat or your family dog. Now,

(04:02):
to be honest, I do some light research, I should
clarify saying light research. So to clarify further, in general,
you're saying farets are not recommended for pets. Yes, that's
exactly true. Farets have a wide variety of special needs
that are unique to them and can end up being
quite a bit of a challenge for someone who's just
looking for a cuddly pet to have it at home.

(04:23):
I recommend anyone looking for a pet just go to
your local shelter and rescue a dog or cat in
need of a loving home, and you'll have the best
buddy for life. Amazing. I'm in the process of doing
that right now. Actually, so you mentioned that blackfooted farets
there are cute and they stand low to the ground.
What else makes a farets stand out? Well, I'm really
glad you asked that. I mean, because, first and foremost,

(04:44):
it's worth noting that this particular species of fairret is
only native to North America, and specifically they are endemic
to the grassland prairies, so a very specific environment. You see,
the blackfooted ferret is entirely dependent on a healthy prairie
dog population because prairie dogs make up about their diet. Now,
the other thing that makes them really special, and I
think others would agree with me on this one. It

(05:06):
was believed that they had gone extinct completely in nineteen
eighty when the last one in human care passed away
from old age. But in one a small population was
found in Wyoming by though their numbers were dwindling to
In fact, they were down to just eighteen individuals. So
those individuals were brought into human care to be the
founders of the recovery program we have today. That's amazing.

(05:27):
Rick I was also surprised to learn that black footed
ferrets are carnivorous. Just looking at them, I think that
they would be more like squirrels and eat plants and
maybe small insects, But it turns out that black footed
ferrets eat squirrels. Is there any correlation between the size
of a species and its diet. Well, first off, you're

(05:51):
you're right. You know, they're very cute and fluff you
Like I mentioned, they're they're adorable. But they're not much
bigger than a squirrels, you know, Like we talked about
their size and their weight, They're just not these huge
animals that you think of when you think of a predator.
But they are true carnivores, like you said, and they
have incredibly powerful jaws for their size. If you were
to look at a picture of one even you'd see
the rounded head. That's because of all the muscle that's

(06:11):
in there for closing that jaw down, and they're tenacious.
They have an attitude that really packs a punch right
behind that jaw and those teeth, so they're pretty much
the paving of a predator. Now, as far as the
correlation between size of a species and its diet, I
offer you this to think about. Both the elephant and
the mouse are herbivores, and for as small as the

(06:31):
black footed faret is, there's even a smaller carnivore known
as the least weasel. It's in the same family as
the black footed ferret, and this guy only weighs in
it about seven ounces, that's less than half a pound.
So carnivores come in all shapes and sizes. That's so interesting.
We mentioned that the black foot farets eats squirrels, what

(06:52):
else do they eat? And one thing we haven't talked
about what eats them? Yes, the food chain question. You know,
it really is fascinating how it all works, and being
a carnivore with a high metabolism. Blackfooted ferrets will eat
any small animals they can catch, including mice, rats, ground squirrels,
lizard birds, even rabbits. But the most important part of

(07:12):
their diet is the prairie dog. Prairie dogs make up
the majority of their diets, so much so that a
scientist who studied them estimated that one ferret will eat
over one prairie dogs in just a year. As for
animals that the black footed faret has to look out
for because they're preying on them, well, they have to
be on the lookout for predators on the ground and
the sky. Anything from kyotes and badgers to bobcats would

(07:34):
be happy to hunt them on the ground and in
the sky. We're talking owls and golden eagles and possibly
even hawks. It is so when we talk about what
praise on black footed ferrets were highlighting just one obstacle
the blackfoot of faret would face in nature. What are
some of the other obstacles that have, unfortunately contributed to

(07:54):
the decline of the species. Yeah, I think it's fair
to say having other animals hunt you would be an obstacle,
especially when you're the size of a black footed faret.
But you're right, Ebony, they do face many other obstacles
in the wild. It's worth noting though, in a healthy
and balanced ecosystem, predators and prey interaction is normal. It
helps keep things in balance. It's when other obstacles come
up that aren't part of the natural ecosystem that we

(08:16):
see these populations declined. And so for the blackfooted ferret,
the primary reasons the species remains endangered are the same
that nearly caused them to go extinct, disease, loss of habitat,
and then the related declines of prey in that habitat,
like the prairie dog and rick as you just mentioned. Um.
Scientists and conservationists often speak about the importance of an

(08:38):
ecosystem and an importance of a species to a particular ecosystem.
What exactly is an ecosystem in the case of a
blackfoot of faret and how does the black footed ferret
help its ecosystem? Yeah, and I think that's something that
a lot of us in the animal world kind of
take for granted that that's an understood what what an
ecosystem is, So let me kind of break it down
just basically, it's defined as a community of organisms and

(09:01):
their environment. The living organisms such as plants and animals,
interacting with each other and with other non living things
like water, soil, and air. A healthy and balanced ecosystem
is important for all life on our planet, including humans.
In the case of the blackfooted faret, like all predators,
they help keep the balance in their native ecosystem. As
a predator, they keep the herbivore populations healthy by praying

(09:23):
on the sick and injured or weak individuals and for
quickly reproducing species like the rodent. Predators like the blackfooted
faret helped prevent a population boom that would then be
detrimental to the plants and other animals in the ecosystem.
And coming up, we're talking to US Fish and Wildlife
Service about partnering with San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and
other organizations. We'll be talking about recovery efforts and about

(09:46):
what it takes to reintroduce blackfooted fair populations back to nature.
But first this it's time for the San Diego Zoo
Wildlife Alliance minute good News or an ambitious effort to
rescue four tiny birds deep in a Hawaiian rainforest. In
December one, a six month old chick was safely rescued

(10:10):
on Kawaii and flown by helicopter to a neighboring island.
The chicken its family are believed to be among the
last living ki ki ki, also known as the Hawaiian
honey creeper, a critically endangered species driven to the brink
of extinction by malaria, an unfortunate consequence of climate change

(10:31):
and fun fact for you. Unlike other colorful honey creepers
found on the island of Kawaii, yaki ki ki is
a pale, gray and white now they usually are seen
traveling and foraging in pairs or in family groups in
the forest and eat invertebrates which they find by pecking
and pulling at the bark of tree, snags and tree trunks.

(11:00):
We're talking about the endangered blackfooted ferret. Now we have
two people joining the conversation. Pete gober with US Fish
and Wildlife Service and Dr Oliver Writer, director of Conservation
Genetics at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, which, among other things,
expands and curates the frozen Zoo. Welcome, Mr Gobert and

(11:23):
Dr Wrider, Thanks so much for being with us. Dr Writer.
What is a frozen zoo? The frozen zoo is an
umbrella term for preserving genetic diversity in a form that
can be used in the future, and it that can
be in the form of living cells or of reproductive
cells like gam meats that is, eggs and sperm, or

(11:46):
it could be frozen tissues or d NA. But for
the purposes of today's conversation, we should focus on the
fact that the Frozen Zoo is a collection of living
cells that are kept extremely cold temperatures so that the
cells are basically in a state of suspended animation and

(12:07):
can be kept for literally thousands of years and then
thought and grow again and continue their cellular functions. This
process makes cloning possible. Zare can you tell us in
basic terms, doctor writer, what is cloning? What does it
mean to clone an animal? The clone is an identical copy,

(12:29):
and most people are familiar with cloning, but they know
about identical twins in humans or their wildlife enthusiasts. Maybe
they know that the nine banded armadillo always has identical quadruplets.
These are individuals that are descended from the same UH cell,
and so clones are identical copies. And it's now possible

(12:53):
to make clones from cells that have been frozen like
that are in the Frozen Zoo. Wonderful, Now, let's have
Mr Gobert joined the conversation. Mr Gober's with us fish
and Wildlife Services, which is working alongside with recovery partners
and scientists to explore solutions to genetic diversity challenges and
disease resistance or blackfooted ferrets. Mr Gober, what exactly is

(13:18):
being done? Can you talk to us about the program
that you lead? Yes, ma'am, I suppose we're on the
other end of the spectrum from the folks that are
working at the sub cellular level and even below that
it's a sub gene level to try to contribute to conservation.
We're largely focused on the population of various species that
are in danger of extinction, namely the blackfooted ferret in particular,

(13:42):
and a number of factors over time influenced its decline
as a population. There was a good bit of farming
that destroyed his habitat livestock raising, where livestock operators control
prairie dogs, which are the principal prey of ferrets and
provide their homes as far excavations in the prairie. Prairie
dog numbers declined because of that poisoning and then the

(14:07):
introduction inadvertent introduction of the disease sobietic plague, and in
North America, calls further declines and prairie dog numbers and
both ferrets and prairie dogs are affected by this disease. Yes,
and let's tell you folks about that. So there was
a win for the most endangered mammal in the U
s which is the b f F the blackfoot of

(14:28):
ferret um. Since nineteen sixty nine, the blackfoot of ferret
has been listed as endangered except for several populations that
were designated as experimental. But scientists didn't give up so easily.
They successfully cloned and endangered blackfooted ferret using frozen cells
of a wild ferret that had died decades earlier. You

(14:51):
were talking about that, Mr Gilbert Um, can we talk
about the the significance of Elizabeth Ann Well. We thought
the faret was inked, as you mentioned back in the
sixties because of all the factors that I've mentioned previously,
and then one last population was found in northwestern Waomi
and we had another chance. We almost fubbled that along

(15:12):
the way, but we were fortunate enough to get the
last eighteen animals captured. Only seven animals contributed to the
captive breeding program. We have raised ferrets for nearly forty
years now at the National Blackfoot of Fairy Conservation Center
run by the Fish and Wildlife Service in Colorado and

(15:33):
cooperatively with our principal partner in the early days while
we game in fish, but there are a number of
other zoos involved in the program across the country. Over
ten thousand kids baby ferrets have been born during that
period of time, and they're quite similar genetically, and genetic
diversity is being lost over time. So there are a
number of factors that we've got to address. But our

(15:56):
biggest obstacle is making sure these animals, when we put
them back out in the wild, reproduce the following spring.
Their short lived species turnovers pretty fast in their population,
but every place we put them out over the past
few decades they've had young in the spring. Keeping them
on the ground is the big challenge, and you need

(16:16):
a broad diverse genetic background to respond the whole host
of environmental challenges. But the principle one we're worried about
is this exotic disease so that it plagued so adding
diversity back into the genetic line. We only had seven founders.
Elizabeth Ann adds an eighth founder and provides the theoretical
genetic diversity. We need to address some of these challenges

(16:39):
long term, but the most exciting thing for me is
the fact that it broadens opportunities for advancement and technologies
that may be able to address this disease issue. If
we could somehow confer immunity on ferrets in the wild
over time through some inheritable trait, that would be fantastic

(16:59):
and would probably addressed the principal problem with limiting recovery
and delisting of the species where it would no longer
be an endangered species in the wild. And dr writer,
can you add to that? So what's the importance of
genetic diversity and how does that connect to disease in
in species? Thank you, Ebony, Well, it was such an

(17:22):
exciting development when a native North American species thought to
be extinct was rediscovered, and the excitement around that extended
over several years. But then there was a calamitous event
with the extinction of the wild population due to canine
distemperate disease. And as Pete Gober has said, all blackfooted

(17:46):
ferrets living today except one come from only seven individuals,
and this is over many, many generations, so they have
lost their genetic diversity they're related on a ridges is
more than double first cousins, and their genetic resilience, which
is basically the capital of their in their bank to

(18:10):
respond to diseases and environmental challenges, has been eroded. But
there is one individual that's not related to all of
the rest of the ferrets in the world today, and
that's Elizabethan. And that's because cells were saved from an
email named Willa who has caught in the wild um
but sure she has no descendants in the living population.

(18:34):
Elizabeth Ann is now her clone and can restore genetic
diversity that was present decades ago back into the population.
This is called genetic rescue. It's been done on other
species by translocating animals. There are no new ferrets to
translocate into the population, but the chance to translocate an

(18:57):
animal who cells are stored in the freezer back into
the living population is really a conservation innovation and one
of the first opportunities to explore this potential is now
in this program and cooperation with multiple partners to produce
the clone that's named Elizabeth and to restore her genetic

(19:19):
variation and to address the larger concern that Pete gober
raised about the vulnerability of black footed ferrets in the
wild to disease. Any effort to produce an immunity of
ferrets is going to uh through that is heritable, is
going to have to involve cloning technology. So this is

(19:42):
a very important step in the long term goal to
produce a population in the wild of blackfooted ferrets that
are no longer susceptible to sylvatic plague. And Mr Gobert,
you were going to add, well, I was gonna ask
Oliver to tell the story because he was there when
it happened. As far as cells being conserved, well, yes, um,

(20:02):
Dr Writer, you were part of the team that save
the genes of the blackfooted farret by successfully freezing the
living cells before cloning was even possible. Can you tell
us be the story behind that and and what was
the thinking process? Was there just a hope that technology
would would one day catch up? What was the motivation?

(20:23):
With so few ferrets, there was an inevitability that the
population could become in bred. And it's important to know
the vulnerability of the species and from a standpoint of
its ecology in the wild, but also in its genetic
makeup and living cells are an avenue to understanding genetic

(20:47):
makeup because they are there is a pository for the
d n A that's the blueprint of a species. So
I played just a lucky happenstance role that I happened
to meet the head of the program at the time
being in Wyoming at a conference, and sat down with

(21:08):
him in the evening and said, you know, every one
of these ferrets is valuable even after it dies, because
we can establish cell cultures that we can learn more
about the species. No, at the time, we didn't know
that cloning would be possible, but we banked the cells,
and the team here in the Frozen Zoo lab was

(21:30):
successful in banking those cells and being the first people
to study the chromosomes of the blackfooted ferret that's where
the DNA lives in the cells. And then later Dolly happened,
and all of a sudden, the possibility of producing a
living animal that had the genetic makeup of the animal
it died arose and it's startling and it's remarkable, and

(21:56):
it's taken a whole team to make this happen. But
it really depends on the fact that we have been
banking living cells from animals, not always knowing what the
full potential of their use might be, but knowing that
we had a special opportunity in our time to bank
these for present conservation and future conservation activities. How frequently

(22:21):
does something like this happen? How significant is an Elizabeth
Ann's story. It is complicated ebony, and we can't clone
all species yet, but we do know that in the
case of mammal species, that each cell that we have
frozen is capable of producing an animal if it's properly treated.

(22:42):
That is, if it's used in what we call somatic
cell nuclear transfer cloning. But that hasn't been explored in
many species of conservation concern, and there are many species
of conservation concern for which cells haven't been banked, and
there are still significant technical challenges to do this in
species other than mammals. So it's a great opportunity for

(23:06):
scientific progress to be made and for people who are
young scientists who are interested in conservation to make a
contribution that will allow the work that's already been done
to reach a full potential, and also to stimulate efforts
to bank cells from other species so that there would

(23:28):
be options in the future. Mr Gilbert, there was an
exciting milestone recently with Elizabeth Anne turning one. How did
you feel about that milestone? Was it a significant one
for her to survive to year one? Well, every partner
in the program will have a little different perspective, just
like I mentioned the population biologist, or the veterinarian or

(23:50):
the genesis. We should point out in particular that these
things happened serendipitously, as as only mentioned, and also Budge
as and Planning. One of our partners, Ryan Feelings and
Revive and Restore often says that we're all afraid of
unintended consequences when we conduct science and the various experiments,

(24:13):
But intended consequences can provide benefits too. I like the
homily of a cat never sets on a hot stove twice,
but then again he never sets on a coal one either,
So you've got to keep striving and trying for more.
The Fishing Wildlife Service really acted just as a coordinating body.
We have the captive colony affairs where we were able

(24:34):
to raise Elizabethan, but Revive and Restore acted as a
catalyst to bring San Diego and the Service and a
private company all together. So It's quite a consortium of
different interests, as I've mentioned, and I think everybody was
excited about it in their own way, because this doesn't
happen every time you try, so it was a pretty

(24:56):
extraordinary experiment. We only have one clone. We're look geting
to produce additional clones and trying to figure out a
better way to do it. So it was a remarkable thing.
And the fact that she made it to a year
to maturity, because as I said, this is a short
lived species. She's ready to breed herself this coming spring.
We hope to be fortunate enough to have it offspring

(25:18):
from Elizabeth and and produce additional clones down the road.
There's so much effort going into ensuring that BFFs can
make a comeback. Mr Gobert, where does this belief or
hope come from. As I mentioned earlier, every time we
put ferrets out at thirty two different sites in eight states,

(25:38):
Mexico and Canada, they always have young the following spring.
The fight is to keep them on the landscape because
of this introduced exotic disease. So we think eventually, if
we figure out a good way to manage plague, ferrites
will manage on their own because they've hitched their wagon
to a species. As far as where they live and

(25:58):
what they eat, Prairie dogs are about nine of their diet,
and prairie dogs will make it through drought and fire
and other impacts on the environment, and ferrets will make
it right along with them, as long as we can
figure out a way to put them back on the
landscape where disease has taken them out. This question will
be for both of you, Mr. Gobert, as well as Dr. Writer.

(26:20):
You've worked with the species, You've studied the species. What
about the blackfooted ferret impresses you and motivates your interest
in its conservation. One of the things about the species
that impresses me is their grace, their beauty, their tenacity.
The clone of black footed ferret captivated the world and

(26:41):
afforded new possibilities. She's a sweet looking animal, but you
don't want to try to pet her. She's a wild animal,
and that wildness that allows them to survive and catch
and eat animals that are bigger than they are. You
have to respect their capabilities as predators. It's our responsibility,

(27:02):
I feel, to try to conserve them and keep those
animals on the landscape, and to keep all of the
species that are interdependent on the landscape so that the
beauty of this area is maintained and can be appreciated
for the unique place in the world that it is.
In its own way, the black footed ferret is kind

(27:25):
of the top of its food chain. I mean, think
of the lion in the serengetti that kind of dominates
all the other animals, and as representative of that whole ecosystem.
The faret is only a couple of pounds and its
praise only a couple of pounds the prarie dog, but
they represent so much more. Like Ali said, I mentioned
that this species occurred from Canada to Mexico and from

(27:45):
the mid part of the continent west into the inner
mountain basins. If you conserve the blackfooted ferret, you're gonna
have to conserve prairie dogs. And if you conserve prairie dogs,
the coat tail effector dragging along several dozen other species
is going to be there. And that's most exciting thing
about ferret recovery to me is if you save the ferry,
you save all the animals that live where it lives.

(28:06):
And so what's next. In the efforts to save the
blackfooted ferret, Mr. Goburg. As far as the next steps,
I think we stay at it. The American West is
still wild and open and big, and there are places
to put ferrets out there and to conserve prairie dogs,
where we can conserve thousands and tens of thousands of

(28:27):
other species all in the same places. But we've got
to be persistent to do that. It took a hundred
and fifty years to wreck this ecosystem and we've only
been at it forty as far as trying to piece
it back together, and it may take us quite a
bit longer, but we should stay at it. So lastly,
this question is for you both, what's the threshold for
conservation success when it comes to the BFF the blackfooted ferry? Well,

(28:52):
I can jump in with recovery goals established by the
Fish and Wildlife Service and accepted by many of our partners.
We have fifty partners with the states, tribes and NGOs,
and private landowners all across the West. We're never going
to maintain or restore the way things were before we
settled this country, but we're hoping to have a representative

(29:14):
remnant ability to put at least several thousand ferrets on
the landscape. This disease of adding plague is never going
to go away. We're not going to rewind the clock
and walk away and expect to keep on ticking forever.
If you disturb a system as much as we've disturbed
this system, it will require continuing management for the long term.

(29:35):
But there are a lot of partners interested in this
because it benefits so many other species. So I think
we have a chance to keep people engage the persistence
of the zoos continuing to breed these animals and provide
and for reintroduction. The persistence of the states and tribes
and all the other folks to put them out on
the landscape and monitoring over decades is really remarkable. As

(29:56):
an Admiral Asketh said, there's a lot of thought that's
on into what it would take to say that we've
addressed the proximate threats to dangerment of the blackfooted ferret
in iterations of documents and regulations in the Recovery plan
of the Endangered Species Act of the United States. And

(30:16):
that's a remarkable accomplishment that we have yet to fully realize.
And the threshold is that we keep at it. The
threshold is is that we know we have the possibility
to do it, and as we demonstrate our care for
nature and for our natural resources and for our wildlife.

(30:38):
The blackfooted farets don't occur anywhere else in the world
but in North America, and we have the opportunity now
and the potential and the obligation to pass them on
so that years from now, in the future, they will
be part of a landscape. The landscape won't be the

(30:59):
same as it was in the hundreds of years ago,
but there will still be the components that were in
it for us to appreciate and to create that unique
system that still is the kind of the hallmark of
the wide open spaces of the West. We broke it,
we should fix it. That's a good way to wind

(31:20):
it up. Well, good luck and thank you both Mr
gober and Dr Rider for talking with us today and
getting us up to speed about what's being done to
bring back the black footed ferret. And happy belated birthday,
Elizabeth Ann. That wraps up this episode. We hope you

(31:41):
learned a lot about North America's only native ferret. I'm
Epenny Money and I'm Rich Schwartz. Thanks for listening, be
sure to subscribe and tune into next week's episode, in
which we bring you the story of a unique parrot
species that has the nickname snow parrot because they love
of living in the higher altitudes. For more information about

(32:03):
the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park,
go to sdz w a dot org. Amazing Wildlife is
a production of I Heart Radio. Our producer is Nikia Swinton,
Our executive producer is Marci de Pina. Our audio engineer
and editor is Amita Gnatra. For more shows for my
Heart Radio, check out the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcast,

(32:24):
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.
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