Here are two truths about prairie dogs: they’re cute and they can be destructive. Just ask the San Angelo Parks and Recreation Department – the critters are tearing up parts of the city’s Mary E. Lee Park.
For help, the department is turning to Lynda Watson, a prairie dog management specialist from Lubbock. She’s worked to rescue and relocate thousands of prairie dogs over the past few decades.
Watson says her career in catching prairie dogs came from the pursuit of a little booze money, when someone needed the rodents off their land.
“I lied and said, ‘certainly, no problem. I can catch prairie dogs for you,’ and that was 35 years ago,” Watson says. “And now, about 115,000 prairie dogs later, I’ve gotten really good at this.”
She says she works to rescue as many prairie dogs as she can, since the ones she doesn’t save are met by not-so-patient landowners with deadlier methods.
“The other things with this, too, is the heartbreak,” Watson says. “You get very, very emotionally involved with trying to save these animals.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
— What are people’s partisan positions on prairie dogs
— How to safely evacuate prairie dogs off your land
— Where to get these cute rodents rehomed
Written by Lila Weatherly.