Colorado Springs has long been a partner in bringing back the nearly extinct black-footed ferret thanks to a breeding program at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Young ferrets are shipped from the zoo every fall to re-introduction sites around the West. One of the must successful is Conata Basin in South Dakota, mostly because the prairie dogs there don't carry plague (which kills both the rodents and the ferrets.) But now, plague has shown up in the basin. Several federal agencies and organizations have begun the battle against plague. They've zeroed in on killing fleas, a known vector of plague, by spraying dust into prairie dog burrows. They are also vaccinating ferrets against plague. But all this is expensive. You can help by “adopting” a black-footed ferret at www.paririewildlife.org. The funds go directly to protecting ferrets in the Conata Basin.