Occasionally, this pays off in large, exciting, and unexpected ways. This morning, the sad and emotional saga of the Black-Footed Ferret was spun on the air. The gist of it: Black-Footed Ferrets are in danger.
After a rebuilding program, courtesy the Save Our Black Footed Ferrets Foundation of the Greater Metro Denver Area*, the BFF** have come back from near extinction in recent years. The BFF's are the only native ferrets to this country, the rest of them (pets of girls who douse themselves in patchouli, my husbands ex-roommates***, etc) came over from Europe, probably resting around the necks of semi-blue-blooded German teens named Erskine.
Anyways, BFF's are maybe going to become extinct again, becaues ranchers are proposing legislation to kill off prairie dogs. BFFs eat prairie dogs. Actually, apparently, they are kind of assholes and rip prairie dogs to shreds, which is sad, but shit. Girl gotta eat.
Also, they interviewed a rancher who was all like: kill prarie dogs, there's no grass left! And grass is really good for the environment, since we're called a "grassland!" I'm just thinking of the environment, people! Also, maybe my cattle could graze.
This is all just rambling background for the best part of the story:
Apparently at this center in Colorado, when they raised baby BFF, they slowly introduced them to the outside world before releasing them into the wild. They would put them in large cages outdoors, and then train them to fear their natural predators.
And to do this, they used something called the RoboBadger.
! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
I am pretty sure that Dave Barry has already touched on all this, but fuck it. I am so in love with the idea of RoboBadgers I can barely remain conscious.
Quote of the millenium:
"We had this thing called Robo-Badger. It was this mechanized badger that we would drive around the pens to try and scare the ferrets," says Marinari. "And, you know, when the ferrets started riding on the back of the badger, we kind of thought, 'Well, let’s move to something else…'" -- Official BFF Hero
FERRETS RIDING ON THE BACKS OF ROBOT BADGERS.
* I made this name up.
** hee hee.
*** this particular ferret was named Schmoopie, and Schmoops liked to pee in corners. So the roommates would sprinkle CAYENNE PEPPER on the CARPET in the corners because Schmoopie didn't like cayenne pepper. This would explain why the carpet in every corner of the house was orange and the entire place smelled like ferret piss, BO, gym socks, and jerk chicken.