Parks & Recreation
Meet the Prairie Dogs at Wildwood Zoo
The black-tailed prairie dogs continue to be a favorite with zoo visitors. We currently have about 18 black-tailed prairie dogs here at the zoo. The prairie dogs are constantly digging and thus new dirt must be constantly added to this exhibit. They also enjoy chewing on roots that are sometimes added with the dirt.
The prairie dogs are most active in evenings and during bright, sunny days. They do not like to be above-ground when it is cloudy or there is bad weather. In mid to late June we usually have several babies that come up to the surface for the first time. It is always exciting to see these little ones jumping around and playing with the older prairie dogs for the first time.
We do ask that you do not feed the prairie dogs since they are on a special zoo diet.
Prairie Dogs are small mammals that burrow under the surface of the soil. They live in colonies that are comprised of several family members, as well as strangers.
Prairie dogs are important animals in the prairie; many people call them keystone species. A keystone species is an animal that all other animals rely on for survival. Prairie dogs are notorious for digging holes and many farmers do not look favorable upon all of the bare ground they expose. However, biologists have discovered that several species need bare ground to survive on the prairie. There are also several species that rely on prairie dogs for food. Prairie dogs are the main source of food for Black-footed Ferrets, Swift Fox, and Ferruginous Hawks.