Wildwood Zoo

Meet the Black-tailed Prairie Dogs at Wildwood Zoo

Prairie Dogs

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.  Keystone species are animals that all other animals rely on for survival.  Prairie dogs are notorious for digging holes and many farmers do not look favorably 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.

Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Range in North America

map prairie dogs 
For more information, please visit the Prairie Dog Coalition

More Information
Meet the Kodiak Bears
Meet the Mountain Lions
Meet the Bobcat & Canada Lynx
Meet the Timber Wolves
Meet the White-tailed Deer
Meet the American Bison
Meet the American Elk
Meet the Bald Eagle
Meet the Great Horned Owl
Meet the Red-tailed Hawk
Meet the Rough-legged Hawk
Meet the Peregrine Falcon
Meet the Ornate Box Turtles
Meet the Black-tailed Prairie Dogs
Meet the Fox
Meet the Sandhill Cranes
Meet the Screech Owl
Meet the Mute Swan
Meet the Non-Resident Animals