About the Zoo | Employment | Volunteer | Press

Louisville Zoo Celebrates
1000th Black-footed kit

The Louisville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of the 1000th Black-footed Ferret kit at the Louisville Zoo’s Conservation Center. The kit was named “JoGuy” for longtime black-footed ferret keepers Guy Graves and Joanne Luyster, as well as Black-footed Ferret reproduction pioneer JoGayle Howard. “JoGuy” was born to dam “Rhianna” and sire” Fettuccine” on June 10, 2014. 

Black-footed Ferrets (BFFs), once thought to be extinct and long considered one of North America’s most endangered mammals, were reduced to only 18 animals in 1987. Faced with almost insurmountable odds, BFFs bounced back from the brink of extinction through the efforts of a multi-institutional recovery program. 

The Louisville Zoo has been an active participant in the Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program since 1991, producing over 1000 kits and providing over 600 ferrets for reintroduction back into the wild.

The kit, along with its four littermates, will remain with “mom” until early fall when it will either remain in the captive breeding program or be transferred to one of 21 reintroduction sites scattered across the North American Great Plains.

For more information on Black-footed Ferret Recovery: