By Doug Hoffacker

WELLINGTON, Colo. (CBS4) – The world’s largest facility to help breed black-footed ferrets is getting a huge boost. The Department of the Interior announced Thursday $3,588,000 in funding was awarded to the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center. It’s located in Wellington.

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(credit: National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center)

Black-footed ferrets are an endangered species. For more than a decade, workers there have been working to increase their numbers with special breeding programs spread over 40 acres. Staff told CBS4 the funds will go for pre-conditioning pens, upgrades to air conditioning, other building improvements, plus some new construction.

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(credit: National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center)

About two-thirds of the captive black-footed ferrets in the world are housed at the center. Hundreds are released to the wild every year.

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More Information: blackfootedferret.org

(credit: National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center)

(credit: National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center)

(credit: National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center)