Are prairie dogs legal in Pennsylvania

Baby happiness for prairie dogs in Schönbrunn

Spring fever in the enclosure: The black-tailed prairie dogs at Schönbrunn Zoo have made good use of the lockdown and are now looking forward to six offspring. The cute babies are the new crowd favorite at the zoo.

The prairie dog babies are currently discovering their world with a lot of curiosity. With the cute offspring, it's no surprise that they are the number one topic of conversation at Schönbrunn Zoo.

The new stars of the zoo

“The young were born in mid-April, but in an underground burrow where they are looked after by their mother. At birth, the young animals weighed only around 15 grams, were naked and blind. Now they regularly go on longer excursions, ”explains zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck.

The prairie dogs love to play with each other, to nibble on grass and also like to get close to each other. “It's just an intense sniff. In this way, they recognize who belongs to the family, ”says Hering-Hagenbeck.

Habitat is at risk

The prairie dogs originally come from the North American steppe. There they only inhabit two percent of their original range. The animals are known for their imposing underground structures, in which they protect themselves from coyotes, eagles and the like. “The prairie dog populations are currently not endangered. But their habitat is dwindling due to the increasing use of land for agriculture and livestock. Our prairie dogs are therefore important ambassadors for the characteristic landscape of the prairie and its inhabitants, some of which are at risk, ”says Hering-Hagenbeck.

By the way: the animals are not real dogs. The name comes from the fact that they make barking noises in case of danger. Hopefully you won't hear them at Schönbrunn Zoo.

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Photo: © Daniel Zupanc

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