New Neighbors

Beyond our human neighbors we have many wildlife neighbors in and around our house and yard.  While our dogs have managed – by scent and noise, I’m sure – to deter the possums and raccoons that used to feel comfortable moving through our property, they’ve been replaced by other critters.  Mostly gophers and/or groundhogs.  They’ve made a patchwork of our front yard as well as the hill that comprises the majority of our backyard.  Taking a live-and-let-live approach, I don’t get out there with the usual means of combating such neighbors (poison pellets deposited into their burrows where other critters won’t happen upon them).  They proliferate.  They’re cute, even if they’re lousy  landscape designers.

But we noticed a different critter on our hill earlier this week.

IMG-0966

If our research is corrected, this is a black-footed ferret.  This North American native species was at one point considered extinct, but now is listed as endangered (although that listing is not at the State level  but apparently the Federal level?).  We aren’t sure if these are wild ferrets, or escaped domestic ferrets.  They certainly act wild, and there are at least five of them we’ve seen on our hill.  Since these ferrets are generally rather solitary, we assume (hope?) they’re a family.

They live on groundhogs and prairie dogs so hopefully that means we’ll be having fewer gopher and groundhog neighbors in the future!  The ferrets are cuter anyways as well!

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