Little did a man in Pueblo West, Colorado know that a wild critter he spotted in his garage was the "rarest mammal in North America," according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Fortunately, after trapping it inside a box, he knew to call CPW, who identified the animal as the very rare and endangered black-footed ferret.
From The Sacramento Bee:
For years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has been part of a conservation effort to protect the mammal. More than 120 black-footed ferrets have been released since 2013 on Walker Ranch, a sprawling landscape near the homeowner's property. …
"This is extremely rare," Ed Schmal, a conservation biologist, said in the news release. "Black-footed ferrets are nocturnal and extremely shy. For some reason, this one left the colony and was seeking shelter. We're just glad it appeared healthy, not starving or sick, and we were able to capture it and return it to the colony."
There are about 370 black-footed ferrets in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They weigh about 2 pounds and can be between 18 and 24 inches long. The ferrets were once thought to be extinct.