Group offers humane way to remove prairie dogs

Prairie dog

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They may be cute to some, but are very annoying to others.

It’s prairie dog season and one Albuquerque group is trying to balance getting rid of the rodents while giving them a second chance at life.

Just last week, KRQE News 13 reported on prairie dogs infesting a Clovis park. There are plenty here in the Metro, too.

Local group Prairie Dog Pals wants residents to know there’s a safe way to get rid of them without killing them.

The group was recently hired by the Department of Transportation to do something about the holes popping up on the trails near Tramway and Indian School.

Prairie Dog Pals offers a safe way to make sure the critters don’t show back up in unwanted places.

“We’re moving the prairie dogs in a humane way to, we take them here to Sevilleta Wildlife Preserve out there, and let them go out there,” said Mike Trudelle.

It all starts with soap and water.

“As it fills up with water, it’s also got soap. They can breathe through the soap, that’s why we have soap suds,” said Trudelle. “As the burrow fills up, if there’s one present then it will come swimming up and we’ll grab it.”

After the group rinses the prairie dogs’ eyes with a saline solution, they’re taken to a holding place to make sure they don’t have any diseases. Once they’re cleared, they’re moved to the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge.

The group acknowledges the process can be intrusive to the prairie dogs, but they stand by it being the best way to keep humans and the animals happy.

“They don’t love us, but I feel a little bit bad about it but I know we’re taking them to a better place and it’s way better than having them be poisoned or something,” said Trudelle.

The team captured 30 prairie dogs during today’s project. They expect to catch at least 400 more throughout the summer.

Diseased prairie dogs are euthanized and not taken to the refuge.

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