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Cheyenne River Sioux release black-footed ferret

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EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. - The Prairie Management Program of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has completed its 2002 public release of the black-footed ferret. The black-footed ferret is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. The Prairie Management Program is committed to restoring this integral part of a vanishing prairie ecosystem.

The release took place on Oct. 8. Arvol Looking Horse, the Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Woman Pipe, conducted a Lakota ceremony at the release site prior to the release. The first black-footed ferret was released by wildlife biologist Lisa Selner.

This has been the third release of black-footed ferrets on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. A total of 42 ferrets were released on prairie dog towns in the South Parade Complex, located in the southeastern portion of the reservation. Black-footed ferrets rely on large prairie dog towns for survival. Prairie dogs make up the main staple of the ferret's diet. Ferrets also utilize prairie dog burrows for shelter and for denning.