Monday, May 17, 2010

Prairie Dog Massacre

Many long time readers of this blog will know that I'm a nature lover. Even though we live in the city, there is a large field and a wooded area near us. Over the years, we've seen all kinds of animals around here. For birds we see all of the normal birds plus a lot of hawks. We even see an occasional egret or bald eagle. For furry critters, we have squirrels and rabbits, and even an occasional deer or coyote. But more than anything, we have lots and lots of prairie dogs...hundreds or even thousands, or at least we did.

Today, Denver Water came through and killed most of them. They dropped poison down the holes, and then collapsed the holes. I have no idea of why they would do this. We know that they're going to be putting in some new sewer lines at the farm on the other side of the field, but considering that there's a creek between these prairie dogs and the farm, it's kind of hard to believe that these lines will be in the area with these dogs. The fact that there are apartments on the side of the field with the dogs means that they can't run the lines to the street, so there doesn't seem to be a logical reason for the massacre.

I know a lot of people hate prairie dogs, thinking that they're just disease carrying rodents, but it's really not true. They actually serve an important role in the ecosystem around here, and even though a colony will occasionally be infected with the plague or some other nasty disease, how many diseases are humans passing around amongst themselves?

The simple fact is that we love our prairie dogs around here. They're fairly intelligent creatures, and we love to watch them, especially since we've learned a little about them. We're also questioning the timing of this slaughter. The young have only been out for a couple of weeks, so it seems very inhumane to kill all of them. If there really was a logical reason for this massacre, why not do it in the fall before the adults breed?

Plus, they did leave some of them alive, and they left some of the hole untouched, so if there was a logical reason for doing this, why would they leave some of them alive. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Overall, we are quite pissed with Denver Water. We're trying to get an answer for why this massacre has happened, but so far, we haven't heard anything.

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