Wyoming

Black-footed ferrets return to where they held out in wild

  • FILE - This Oct. 1, 2014, file photo shows a black-footed ferret peeking out of a tube after being brought to a ranch near Williams, Ariz. The endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday, July 26, 2016, near Meeteetse, Wyo. Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File)

    FILE - This Oct. 1, 2014, file photo shows a black-footed ferret peeking out of a tube after being brought to a ranch near Williams, Ariz. The endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday, July 26, 2016, near Meeteetse, Wyo. Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2015, file photo, a black-footed ferret looks out of the entrance to a prairie dog tunnel after being let loose during a release of 30 of the animals by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. The endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday, July 26, 2016, near Meeteetse, Wyo. Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2015, file photo, a black-footed ferret looks out of the entrance to a prairie dog tunnel after being let loose during a release of 30 of the animals by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. The endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday, July 26, 2016, near Meeteetse, Wyo. Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2015, file photo, a black-footed ferret looks out from a carrier during a release of 30 ferrets by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. The endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday, July 26, 2016, near Meeteetse, Wyo. Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2015, file photo, a black-footed ferret looks out from a carrier during a release of 30 ferrets by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. The endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday, July 26, 2016, near Meeteetse, Wyo. Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)  (The Associated Press)

An endangered weasel is returning to an area of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago.

Biologists plan to release 35 black-footed ferrets Tuesday near Meeteetse (me-TEET'-see). Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a dog brought a dead one home near Meeteetse in 1981.

The discovery made tiny Meeteetse famous as the home of the slinky, nocturnal weasel. Black-footed ferrets appear on the town logo, in a downtown sculpture and even on coffee mugs in a local restaurant. But they're gone from the wild around here.

Biologists captured Meeteetse's last ferrets for a captive-breeding program that has released hundreds of ferrets in the western U.S. This will be the first release where the black-footed ferret made its last stand in the wild.