Some Prairie Dogs Relocated from UTPB Fields

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- The process of catching prairie dogs in a safe matter is not an easy one.  So UTPB hired a professional who uses soap and water to get the furry creatures out of their burrows. We have to remember prairie dogs are very family oriented animals so they need to be captured with their families, that way they can create new burrows some where else.

"We just love to come out to UTPB, take a walk, see them wild, watch them play and have babies, they are just a lot of fun, they're neat animals" Abby Benizio, a Prairie Dog Protector, said.

Abby Benizio and her husband care for prairie dogs so much the mascot of their business the Odessa Roughnecks is a prairie dog.

But UTPB officials say, there are too many of these animals on-campus, so they are relocating about 150 of the furry residents.

"What we want to do is make sure we leave a nice healthy population and we also want to be sure and remove enough animals, because we want to move a colony as a whole," Lynda Watson, Professional Prairie Dog Catcher, said.

Lynda Watson said that for the now the animals are not creating a problem on campus, but they could start getting into the athletic fields and even the dorms.

"They will eat to the point where their food source diminishes, we don't need that, we got a lot of walkers, we got a lot of students here that take advantage of athletic fields and prairie dogs don't belong there," Watson said.

According to Watson, many communities have problems with prairie dogs, but they choose methods that can harm the animals so she uses a more eco-friendly way with water and dish soap.

"This isn't anything that any human being can be harmed by, we are not worrying about our ground water, we are not worrying about a child coming upon some of this chemical. The liability factor is nil," Watson said.

Watson also said the prairie dogs will first go through a couple of medical check-ups which in all can take about two weeks. For now there isn't a specific Zoo or Reserve where the caught prairie dogs will go.