News & Politics

An Adorable (and Rare) Black-Footed Ferret Kit Was Born at a Smithsonian Institute

You can watch the baby and mom Potpie on a ferret-cam.

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian

A black-footed ferret kit was born around 3 PM yesterday at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Animal care staff are monitoring mom, Potpie, for additional kits born in the litter.This is the third litter for Potpie, and the third litter for dad Daly.

The only ferret species native to North America, black-footed ferrets were once thought to be extinct in the wild until a small population of 18 was found in Wyoming in the 1980s. SBCI received offspring from some of those 18, and since then over 1000 black-footed ferrets have been born at the Institute.

Staff expect more kits to be born in the next few weeks. Those interested in watching the births or the kits with mama can check out the Institute’s black-footed ferret cam.

Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.