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.