A day in Prairie Dog Land
Prairie dogs are not native to us in Scotland. But there are a few hundred of them, it's true, not completely in their natural living conditions, but the Sekmen have created a place where you can observe them, get to know their habits and life. I am neither a zoologist nor an expert in prairie dog matters, so I called Wikipedia to help me:
Prairie dogs have a remarkable social life. Their underground cities can be enormous in size, with strict laws and "mayors". The area of their colonies is tens of thousands of km². Their number in the state of Texas alone is several billion. Their territory is divided into parts by scent boundaries. Each section has a "mayor" with 3-6 females and 30-40 cubs. Their underground cavities are divided into a living room, a toilet, a pantry, a place of escape (in case of minor danger) and an emergency exit. It is forbidden to enter each other's areas. Only cubs are allowed to cross the border. If they stray beyond the boundary during their wild games, they are allowed to stay there until dark. They love to pamper their pups. Elders show respect for each other. When the two meet, they bow like proper Japanese. Two females or a male and a female hug each other and "kiss" each other by putting their noses together. However, two males are aggressive when they meet. In the middle of the 19th century, a large extermination was organized among prairie dogs, as many riding accidents resulted from horses tripping at the exits of prairie dog colonies and breaking their legs. Today, prairie dog colonies are under control in the USA, and prairie dogs are popular animals. Because of their enemies, they always set up a guard that gives a warning signal when danger approaches. Prairie dog alarms sound like dogs barking. The fur hunters who first encountered these squirrel-like animals named them prairie dogs. Males establish a colony by excavating a new part of town or by defeating a "mayor". But if they fail to gain the sympathy of the dog people, they follow their vanquished leader, and the victor is left without subjects and alone.