People scurry around on the green strip between two two-lane streets, trying to catch something with a jacket. You can’t see exactly what. Cars drive at walking speed, stop. What’s going on at the zoo? One of the residents escaped from the enclosure of the black-tailed prairie dogs on Thursday morning, the zoo said on request. Apparently, the runaway had taken a “little excursion” outside the facility, the zoo writes, attracting the attention of passers-by and motorists, as can be seen in this video.
The black-tailed prairie dog – the animals resemble meerkats or small marmots – was captured again after “a few minutes”, it is said. How exactly the prairie dog was able to leave his home is still unclear and will be examined more closely in the next few days. In the event that this is an “exceptional climbing talent”, the runaway will first be housed in another enclosure until the weak point has been identified.
The rodents are known for their escape skills. The zoo had to put in a grave protection under their enclosure to prevent them from digging their way free. It had happened a few years ago that the animals suddenly ran between the elephants’ legs.
The keepers also regularly have to remove mounds of earth that the black-tailed prairie dogs pile up on the glass walls of the enclosure to prevent them from climbing over them.