In September 1981, John Hogg’s dog, Shep, dragged a dead animal onto the porch at his ranch outside Meeteetse. He threw it on the trash pile, but his wife, Lucille, brought it to a local taxidermist.
It turned out be a black-footed ferret, a species formerly thought to be extinct. Wyoming has played an integral role in bringing the ferret back from the brink.
The first captive breeding operation was set up in Sybille Canyon, between Laramie and Wheatland, and in 1991, 49 ferrets were released into the Shirley Basin, south of Casper.
Today, about 250 ferrets exist in captivity, supplementing about 500 wild ferrets.