The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center is excited to announce that we recently welcomed four North American Prairie Dogs as new residents of the Zoo. By mid-July a beautiful permanent exhibit will be complete for them to call their home thanks to Teddy Bear Pools.
Although we weren’t actively seeking to add these animals to our fold, we were lucky enough to acquire four, healthy prairie dogs within the span of a week this summer. Two adults, named Alan and Steve, estimated to be three and a half years old were rescued from a local organization. “Completely by coincidence a few days later we received a call asking if we would like to accept two rescued baby prairie dogs from Texas. Without hesitation we agreed to adopt the babies and just like that Alan and Steve had two new friends,” said John Lewis, Executive Director of the Zoo. “We couldn’t be happier about our new additions.” The babies, who we named Angelica and Susie, were around six to eight weeks old when we rescued them and are now happy twelve-week old pups.
When discussing how we would house our new additions to the Zoo it was decided that ideally an entirely new exhibit would need to be built. Ted Hebert from Teddy Bear Pools, a board member and contributor here at the Zoo, heard this conversation and it immediately peaked his interest. Very generously, Teddy Bear Pools agreed to sponsor the entire project for the prairie dogs. Work started right away and is on track to be completed by mid-July.
So what can you expect to see from this exhibit when you come to the Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center for a visit? Prairie dogs are herbivore mammals. They live in underground burrows, working hard to build and create tunnels and chambers into a community that their family group can coexist in. They love to come above ground to feed on seeds, grasses, and roots and forage. This makes them lots of fun to watch!
The exhibit is designed to look like a cross-section of both the above and under-ground views of a prairie dog’s habitat. A large viewing window will allow visitors to see all of the exciting burrowing-action. We are so thrilled to welcome these prairie dogs into our Forest Park Zoo community and can’t wait for everyone to come visit them and join our excitement!