Zoo wants public's help to name endangered baby ferret

An endangered baby black-footed ferret was born and needs a name. (Photo: Flickr/USFWS Mountain Prairie)

FRONT ROYAL, Va. (AP) - A 6-month-old endangered black-footed ferret born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia needs a name, so her keepers are asking for help.

The National Zoo's conservation center is asking for votes on four different names for the female kit through Nov. 4. Voters can choose from the names Meeteetse, Rosebud, Shirley and Cheyenne.

The zoo is celebrating the 30th anniversary of rediscovery of the only ferret species native to North American. The species was thought extinct, but a small colony was discovered in 1981 in Wyoming.

Since then, the zoo has helped to recover the species. It developed the first artificial insemination technique for ferrets. The conservation center has produced 670 black-footed ferrets and reintroduced 220 of them back into the wild.