The Rapp for August 5

Snow in Harris Hollow

Well, not exactly snow, but Snowball — as our roving photographer calls her — made an appearance last week in Harris Hollow. The albino white-tailed (and white-bodied) deer was kind enough to pose in a field before the sound of a shutter sent her leaping away.

Ferrets in Front Royal

Once believed to be extinct, black-footed ferrets have had a banner year for breeding at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s conservation facility in Front Royal. Twelve litters of black-footed ferrets have been born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) since May 7, including litters born to four females who have never before had kits.

In total, 50 kits were born this year and 49 have survived. The sizes of the litters also were larger than in previous years. Five of the litters born this year included six kits — unusual for a species that usually has three or four kits at a time. The most recent litter was born July 23.

“This is a really exciting time for us. Breaking last year’s records indicates that our husbandry and management practices are excellent,” said JoGayle Howard, a zoo reproductive physiologist.

You can learn more about ferrets (and check out SCBI’s live “ferret cam”) here.

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