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8 animals pulled back from the brink of extinction

Black-footed ferret

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Black-footed ferret

Here's a species that has literally returned from extinction: Black-footed ferrets were declared extinct in 1979. Luckily, however, that declaration was discovered to be premature when a small population of the ferrets was found alive in Wyoming. A captive breeding program was initiated, beginning with just 18 individuals. The odds began small, but today more than 1,200 of the ferrets exist in the wild.