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On the Brink: Animals Fighting for Survival

Photography by Joel Sartore | Captions by Della Watson

Prairie dog eradication efforts in the early 1900s nearly wiped out the black-footed ferret, which depends on prairie dogs for food and shelter. North America's only native ferret was thought to be extinct until a group was discovered living on a ranch in Meeteetse, Wyoming. Only 18 survived an outbreak of disease at the ferret's last wild bastion. Today, thanks to captive breeding and reintroduction programs, the black-footed ferret population has reached about 800. (Photographed at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Sprints, Colorado)

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