MEETEETSE (AP) — Biologists have released 13 more black-footed ferrets on a Wyoming ranch where the slinky predators avoided extinction by being rediscovered more than 30 years ago.

Biologists with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, let them loose Monday on the Pitchfork Ranch outside Meeteetse in northwestern Wyoming.

Last year, game officials released 35 ferrets in the area.

The area is special for black-footed ferrets. Biologists were worried the animals had gone extinct until a dog on the Pitchfork Ranch brought one home in 1981.
Several of the area's remaining ferrets were rounded up and used in a captive-breeding program that has restored black-footed ferrets in Colorado, Montana and elsewhere in the western U.S.

Black-footed ferrets are nocturnal weasels that prey on prairie dogs and live in the rodents' colonies.