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Newly released ferrets doing well

DENVER Colorado's newly released population of black-footed ferrets is faring well, say Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists. After two months living in the wild, eight of the 31 ferrets fitted with radio collars have died.

The 26 percent mortality rate is lower than past ferret releases, where about 80 to 90 percent of the animals died in the first 30 days living in the wild.

"We are pleased with the numbers," said Gene Byrne, the DOW biologist leading the ferret monitoring effort. "Historically, we know that the highest mortality occurs in the first 30 days; after then, ferrets have a lot better chance of surviving. We are off to a good start."

Thirty-eight black-footed ferrets were released into the Wolf Creek and Coyote Basin areas in Northwest Colorado Nov. 15. DOW biologists have been using ground and in-flight telemetry to monitor the 31 collar signals.

From the release date through Jan. 7, biologists have found 10 dropped collars. Two collars appear to have slipped off live ferrets and the remaining eight are thought to be from dead animals.

Horse Expo 2002 March 15-17

DENVER The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo 2002, featuring top horse trainers, is March 15-17 at the National Western Stock Show Complex in Denver.

Organizers say some of the best trainers in the country participate each year, as well as a long list of lecturers who, combined, know just about all there is to know about horse disease, welfare, behavior, legal issues involving horse ownership and what is going on in the horse world.

This year's expo is being billed as the "Year of the Ladies." Linda Parelli will head up a list of ladies who will perform. Parelli is one of only four Parelli Natural Horsemanship Level 4 Instructors in the United States. Also on tap will be Carla Wennberg of the American Quarter Horse Association.

For more information, call (303) 292-4981 or check out www.rockymountainhorseexpo.com.

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