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A day at the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam. I go there often and I always visite the cute little prairie dogs. They are a curious bunch and always fun to look at. This one is a black-tailed prairie dog and was nibbling on some grass (as they so often do.....), and it was a nice moment for me to take this shot.

Some info on prairy dogs:

Black-Tailed Prairie Dog
(Cynomys ludovicianus)
Black-tailed prairie dogs are tough, social animals that live in and around burrows deep within the prairie soil. They grow to between 14 and 17 inches (350-425 mm) long and weigh about 2 to 3 pounds (.91-1.4 kg). They are tan with a whitish or buff-white belly. The tips of their tails are sparsely covered by black hair. They have short ears and, compared to their body size, relatively large black eyes. Prairie dogs live from 3 to 5 years.

Black-tailed prairie dogs live in complex communities, called "towns" or "colonies." The colony is an underground tunnel system leading to various chambers which are bedded with dry leaves and grass. At one time, the typical town covered 100 acres (404,700 m²) or more. The towns are divided into territorial neighborhoods or "wards," which are comprised of coteries.

Coteries are family groups made up of one male, one to four females, and their young up to 2 years of age. Young male prairie dogs will usually emigrate to another colony but seldom will try to start a new one. Although there are many entrances to the colony, the most recognizable prairie dog burrow opening is encircled by a hard-packed mound of earth reaching about 1 foot above the ground.

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Additional Photos by Nel Diepstraten (NellyD) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 381 W: 0 N: 426] (1874)
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