MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK — In a blur, about 10 pounds of fur and flesh roared out of a plywood box, then bounded across an inch of snow before disappearing amid old-growth pines.
“Whoa, look at her go,” said Jeff Lewis, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) biologist. “Like she was shot out of a cannon.”
The zooming furball, Betsy, was one of 10 fishers released Friday as part of an effort to reintroduce the species in the Cascade Mountains. The second-largest member of the weasel family, fishers were driven to extinction in Washington by the mid-1900s by hunters seeking their soft pelts.
That makes Betsy and her nine counterparts the first fishers in Mount Rainier National Park in decades. If all goes well, she will make a den, find a mate and get to work multiplying.
But first, the fishers made a dazzling entrance.
Nisqually tribal members …