Oakley Kansas residents upset by the return of the black-footed ferret have prompted officials to cancel an event marking the 30th anniversary of the animal’s rediscovery.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service event, scheduled for Sept. 29 in Oakley, was canceled Monday because the ferret’s reintroduction in the area has angered some area residents and made it difficult to find a venue for the event, The Hays Daily News reported Tuesday.
The event was one of the last nationwide events commemorating the 30th anniversary of the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, which had been thought to be extinct.
The black-footed ferret lives among prairie dogs, which ranchers consider a nuisance in part because they eat grass reserved for cattle and other crops. Some area residents want to poison the prairie dogs, but a judge’s 2010 ruling prevents the county from poisoning prairie dogs on a site where ferrets have been reintroduced in the county.
The ruling said poisoning the prairie dogs would violate the Endangered Species Act, which protects the black-footed ferret. The Logan County Commission has appealed.