Tuesday, June 1, 2010
iPhone photo by Debby Kaspari
I've gone on at length on this blog about prairie dogs. About what we've done to their populations--brought them to the brink of extinction--and about what we continue to do--poison, shoot, trap and even vacuum them into oblivion. I can't talk about that now; my heart is heavy enough. That's what the links are for, if you'd like to learn more. No, I'm going to celebrate them here, just roll around with them for a little while, if that's all right with you.
Being a heavily persecuted animal, prairie dogs are normally unapproachable. The only way to see them well is in a protected situation, as at Oklahoma's Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. These dogs are extremely well-acclimated to humans, perhaps too well-acclimated! They looove humans and their junk food fixes, oh yes they do.
Zick knows a photo op when she sees one. Plopping myself down at the side of the prairie dog viewing parking lot must've said, "She's got FOOD!" to the boss prairie dogs with the prime territories in the Cheeto zone. They galloped over to investigate.
Oh, God. Here they come. I may keel over from cuteness.
The first order of business when mobbed by wild rodents is to keep your fingers up and out of the way. Rodents would just as soon bite you as look at you. That's how they discover if your finger is made of flesh or corn syrup solids.
All the photos below of me mobbed by prairie dogs by Timothy Ryan. Thank you, Timmers!
I dunno. You think this woman is getting good mileage out of her rabies vaccinations? Yeah, me too.
Well, hello, little guy. You are some cute.
I'm sorry. The sign says I shouldn't feed you.
It says that people food makes your hair fall out, among other things. I can add that it makes you really fat.
Phooey! Just hand over the almonds and nobody gets hurt.
The dogs showed their disdain for my stance with a deposit. Murr, this pair's for you.