Saturday, November 8, 2008

Prairie Dog Alert!

I think many of us have seen the small Prairie Dog colonies at a zoo. These were taken at Reston Zoo here in Virginia. It is not on as grand a scale as some of the wild animal parks but it is a fun place to visit nonetheless and well worth it.

Prairie Dogs are rodents closely associated to the ground squirrel. They can live up to eight years' old. They are very social animals and can be seen 'kissing' or grooming one another. One Prairie Dog acts as a sentry while the rest of the colony is out feeding and you will find this sentry standing up on his hind legs looking out for predators such as hawks.

One Prairie Dog town found in Texas once covered 25,000 square miles and housed 400 million Prairie Dogs. Through habitat destruction and "pest control" less than one percent of the Prairie Dog population remains.

When my family and I visited the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, we came across one of these Prairie Dog towns and was amazed to find a golf course built not too far away from it. Our time was limited and we were with relatives and on the way to meeting up with more relatives. Gregg and I will go back again one day and spend a couple of days there. None of these places should ever be rushed through. I didn't have a great camera back then and only came up with shots that made them look like the size of ants in my photos, blurry ones at that. So I was very happy that the Reston Zoo allowed me to have a great view of this lovely little animal.
Most of his family were underground.

We saw a couple of heads pop up every now and again.....

....and it wasn't long afterwards that our little friend here decided to join his family.

9 comments:

Tina said...

i love these animals. i just think its so cute how they sit up and seem like they are begging for their food and watching everyone!

Webradio said...

Like yesterday, very great shots...
The little animals are beautifuLLL

Nice day For You !

Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

He is adorable... that little nose is just a-twitchin'... fantastic photography!
~Michele~
Mountain Retreat- Canada

Leedra said...

He is so cute!!!

Marie said...

What a adorabel little fellow :)

Mary said...

How very cute! Our prairie dogs would only stick the head out the last time I went to the zoo. I never see them this well! Wonderful shots!

The Tile Lady said...

Great photos! There is a wonderful Prairie Dog Village in Lubbock, Texas. We lived there when our daughter was very small and used to love to go visit the little furry creatures. They are such fun to watch! When our daughter was an adult and moving out west, we made a point to go through there. We were pressed for time and couldn't find the village and had to go on, and I was disappointed she didn't get to revisit the spot.

2sweetnsaxy said...

These are fantastic! I'll bet you had a great time taking these!
:-D

Kay said...

Hi Denise, it's so nice to meet you and see all your wonderful photos. I had such fun seeing these prairie dogs. They are so adorable. I remember seeing them in New Mexico and loving them even though the residents of the town were not happy with them.