The black-footed ferret doesn’t want you to know it’s around — these nocturnal animals spend 90% of their time underground. But we clearly saw they had a need to be protected. The coverage Burrow Insurance offers is helping the black-footed ferret thrive again, and at Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, those are the success stories we love to tell.
Burrow Insurance coverage
Here are the key services Burrow Insurance covers:
- Tunnel repairs —Fixes any cave-ins so black-footed ferrets can get to where they need to underground.
- Claw sharpening — Keeps those diggers in top condition.
- Vision and hearing exams — Ensures black-footed ferrets senses are working properly so they can navigate underground.
- Food allowance —Provides a plentiful supply of prairie dogs wherever black-footed ferrets live.
- Protection from predators —Helps black-footed ferrets avoid detection from predators, such as eagles, coyotes and badgers.
- Mask retouching — Prevents gray hairs from appearing in the black-footed ferrets distinctive black mask (even animals want to avoid gray hairs!).
Black-footed ferrets really dig Burrow Insurance!
Supporting black-footed ferret conservation efforts
The black-footed ferret is a survivor. It was thought to be extinct in 1979, but two years later was rediscovered in Meeteetse, Wyoming. Since then, it’s estimated there are 350 black-footed ferrets in the wild, and there are a lot of great efforts underway to make sure that number grows. Check out or visit to Meeteetse and other locations where black-footed conservation is happening.
Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom is proud to support like-minded conservation organizations like the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s SAFE — Saving Animals from Extinction — program, which is working hard to ensure the black-footed ferret doesn’t appear on the extinction list.
Black-footed ferrets face several threats:
- Disease — Plague in the U.S. West and Southwest is an issue for black-footed ferrets and many other animals.
- Reduced prairie dog population — Black-footed ferrets rely on prairie dogs for almost all their diet, and westward U.S. expansion has caused formerly bountiful prairie dog populations to disperse or even be eliminated.
- Diminished ecosystem — Because of the reduction of prairie dog populations and good quality habitat, a full recovery for the black-footed ferret remains on ongoing concern.
What’s being done?
Breeding and reintroduction programs at several zoos around the country have the goal of raising the number of black-footed ferrets in the wild. Also, because the prairie dog is so critical to the black-footed ferrets’ survival, private ranchers are being offered a monetary incentive for every prairie dog town on their land — a development that gives black-footed ferrets a better long-term outlook.
Just as we help protect wildlife through our support of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, we also help protect the human kingdom. Learn more about how you can help protect your kingdom.
Source: SAFE, Saving Animals From Extinction, Black-Footed Ferret Action Plan, 2019-2021.