Adorable Baby Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs Play Fight At World’s Oldest Zoo

Zookeepers at the oldest zoo in the world have been thrilled after they recently welcomed six adorable black-tailed prairie dog young.

The little ones surprised visitors after they were spotted roaming around in their enclosure at the Schoenbrunn Zoo, in the city of Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, 29th June.

Joyful zookeepers explained that their mum had carried them for a month, before she delivered them in an underground burrow.

And despite being suckled, the six young individuals are already taking in their daily portion of greens, they claimed.

Schoenbrunn Zoo/Newsflash

A new video shared by the zoo shows them frolicking through the facility, nibbling on some fresh grass and keeping their whole colony busy.

Reports suggest that the species may have been the most abundant prairie dog in the steppes of North America prior to people destroying their habitat.

But even though they are not endangered yet, their populations have taken a dramatic hit in recent years.

Director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck said in a statement obtained by Newsflash from Schoenbrunn Zoo: “More and more land is being converted into agricultural land for farming and animal husbandry.

Image shows the adorable black-tailed prairie dog offspring, undated photo. Six young were born at the Schoenbrunn Zoo, in the city of Vienna, Austria, in June 2023. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

“Today, the black-tailed prairie dog only inhabits about two per cent of its original range.”

Emphasising that many are not familiar with the species, zookeeper Alexander Keller added: “The prairie dogs are very often mistaken for marmots or ground squirrels.

“All three belong to the squirrel family, just like our native squirrel.”

Keller explained that the small rodents are not closely related to dogs, but they got their name because of the barking sounds they make.

These serve to warn each other of predators, such as birds of prey, foxes or coyotes.

Image shows the adorable black-tailed prairie dog offspring, undated photo. Six young were born at the Schoenbrunn Zoo, in the city of Vienna, Austria, in June 2023. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)
Image shows the adorable black-tailed prairie dog offspring, undated photo. Six young were born at the Schoenbrunn Zoo, in the city of Vienna, Austria, in June 2023. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency:  Newsflash

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