I have recently read 3 articles from a couple of popular magazines, one from Smithsonian, and the other two from National Geographic. My concern is that selfish farmers and ranchers want to kill them all and I want to try to protect them. Those mean people shouldn't kill prairie dogs because those cute little rodents were here first until the humans came.
If any of you watched the movie Independance Day, here's a good analogy: alien is to human as ignorant rancher is to prairie dog. Another reason why not to kill prairie dogs is that they actively coexist with bison and are dependent on one another. In National Geographic, I've read that it's only a myth that horses and cows get their feet stuck in prarie dog burrows and get their legs broken. Some ranchers disagree. Besides, why kill prairie dogs when they have plenty of natural predators as it is? Click here to find out more about why people shouldn't kill prairie dogs, even though this is about squirrels it can apply to prairie dogs as well.
Policemen who defend the rights of prairie dog hunters are beaurocrats who are blatantly violating the constitution. Here's a story about how helpful people were rescuing prairie dogs from a horrible slow death of fumigation. Then the police came along and arrested them. For helping animals? I don't blame you if you feel like spitting in their faces.
One common misconception about prairie dogs is that they are first cousins of rats and mice. That's like saying lemurs are our first cousins. The rodent group is the largest and most diverse of the mammal orders, so only ignorant people think prairie dogs are closely related to rats, or think that all rodents are the same species. The first cousins of prairie dogs lie in the squirrel family, which contains ground squirrels, flying squirrels, tree squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks and marmots.
I would like to get a prairie dog as a pet, but they're so expensive! He/She would make a fine addition to my collection of small rodent pets. I have 2 flying squirrels and a Richardson ground squirrel. See My Pet Page.
As requested by John Boren, a wildlife specialist from the University of New Mexico, I am going to add some scientific information on why prairie dogs should be protected. Once it's ready, please click here.
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