by Sarah Snyder
Some Midland prairie dogs are getting a new home.
The Midland City Council approved a plan to capture 2 colonies, about 300 prairie dogs, from the downtown area.
Prairie dogs within the city limit are causing problems. They destroy vegetation, their holes are dangerous for humans and livestock, and they also carry fleas which can spread diseases like the bubonic plague.
Sul Ross State University is working with the city to insure the safe and humane relocation of these critters. The school plans to re-introduce the prairie dogs to an area south of Alpine.
"That's basically what you're doing is just moving the prairie dogs around," said Monette Burke, Director of Community Service in Midland. "And we have to remember that there's burrowing owls that use the holes for nesting. So it's an environmental balance we have to maintain."
The two colonies being relocated are Northeast of Midland High and South Lamesa Street. Currently, there are about eight colonies in Midland. Each colony covers several blocks.