The Black-tailed Prairie Dog is the only animal at the farm native to the United States. It is a burrowing rodent that can be found all the way from Texas to Montana. They inhabit the grasslands of much of the Midwest and are found in groups called towns, which are then subdivided into coteries. Towns can be enormous, with the record being 400,000,000 prairie dogs and covering 25,000 square miles (yes you read that correctly, 4 hundred million). The coteries are much smaller with typically one adult male, a couple females, and their young.
This species can tolerate very harsh environments. Most of the water that they get comes from their diet, so they can go long stretches without drinkable water. They also go into torpor during the colder months. Torpor is an involuntary shutdown of the body to lower metabolism and survive the cold without burning too much energy.
Harry is our Prairie Dog (or Harry-Dog) and we got him in October of 2020. Someone called us and said that they found a little animal in the parking lot of a condo complex in Pompano Beach, and he ran right up to their daughter and quickly made friends. They brought him inside until we were able to pick him up. Prairie Dogs aren’t native to Florida or anywhere close, so we are pretty sure that Harry-Dog is an escapee or someone’s discarded pet, but he’s so friendly there’s no way somebody would willingly give him up. We told the people who found him to put up flyers in the hopes of reuniting Harry-Dog with his owners, but it looks like he’s here to stay.
We got Harry his girlfriend Rosie in May of 2021, since these animals tend to do much better in social settings. She just turned 2 years old this year!
Pictured Above: Harry (Male), Rosie (Female)