Ferret kits 2

A young black-footed ferret yawns as it is being cared for by wildlife biologists at the Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center, north of Fort Collins, Colorado. The recovery of this endangered species is due, in large part, to the captive breeding programs at several zoos and one federal facility. Courtesy

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. (AP) — More black-footed ferrets have been released at Wind Cave National park in southwestern South Dakota.

The National Park Service says 29 ferrets were released into their new home at the park on Thursday.

The ferrets will add to the park's estimated ferret population of 18 to 20 animals. The ferrets were raised at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center in northern Colorado.

Park Superintendent Vidal Davila says the goal is to increase the ferret population and enhance the animal's genetics that have existed in the park since ferrets were originally reintroduced in 2007.

Crews will perform surveys in the next week to monitor the newly released ferrets.

Black-footed ferrets are considered one of the rarest animals in North America.

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