Endangered black-footed ferret dies at Abilene Zoo

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - The Abilene Zoo is mourning the loss of their black-footed ferret, who was one of the last of her endangered species.

Zoo staff says the ferret, Romano, "was the oldest black-footed ferret in human care at 8 years, 8 months, and 19 days of age."

A press release says Romano has experienced health issues since 2016, leading to her death this week. The Zoo consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department before making the decision to euthanize.  

A customary necropsy determined the ferret had gallbladder and liver masses, which were likely cancer, along with severe heart disease. 

A brief biography on Romano reads as follows: 

Romano was born at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and moved to the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center in Colorado at four months old. Her offspring were released back into the wild as part of their species recovery program in order to increase the population. Once retired from conservation centers, zoos such as the Abilene Zoo, display black-footed ferrets to educate zoo goers on the conservation program.

The Zoo is now working to acquire a new black-footed ferret. 

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