Now the prairie dogs are out to get us

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This isn’t new. Growing up, and even today, there were a handful of plague infections every year. Which is why we were taught as kids never to play with dead animals.

Visiting home a dozen years back, there was a trifecta outbreak: plague, hanta, and anthrax. That was well after they made these shirts:


Law of unintended consequences applies here - it may help halt the spread of plague, but it really feels like groping in the dark.


I’m going to take the prairie dogs’ side on this one.


Can you really blame the planet for trying to get rid of us, though?

We’re lucky mother nature hasn’t gone all ‘pyroclastic flow’ on us yet.


Well, add “Plague carrying prairie dogs.” on the list of “Why do I need THAT?” :wink:


Better headline:
Radioactive Prairie Dogs with the PLAGUE are Coming for YOU!!

(Rocky Mtn Arsenal is one huge superfund site full of leftovers from the Manhattan project, et al)


My thought exactly. Now we have a bunch of prairie dogs covered in insecticide. Who eats prairie dogs? Why the very same bald eagles who live nearby. When the eagles start dying, we…


Yeah, isn’t plague just endemic to the southwestern US? The really dangerous thing is if you contract it when travelling and then come back east where they don’t know what they are looking at and mess around trying to diagnose you for too long. It’s pretty easily cured these days with timely antibiotics.


If Stephen King hears about this, it might give him ideas for a new novel. Oh, wait…

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Can confirm, am from NM and was taught stay away from the Prairie Dogs.

Sadly, that info isn’t passed along to everyone and we do get well-meaning folks from time to time going out to “hug and comfort” the little beasties as they lay twitching in the sun. Yes, I am friends with a few of these cases. Yes, they do know better now.

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Typical government! What about my freedom to play with dead animals?

Two excuses to post clips from Caddyshack in one day? Thank you, BoingBoing!

Next, the spiders are warming up.

Plague among prairie dog colonies has been known for over a century. Karl F. Meyer named this manifestation of the disease “sylvatic plague;” prior, it was thought that plague was confined to urban rats. Through an extensive program of collection and sampling, he proved that plague was indeed endemic to the Western US. Meyer was a pretty fascinating guy:

Meyer’s best plague experiment was Mouse Town, where he ran a high-security (for the 30s) plague lab in San Francisco to seek treatments:

Today, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is experimenting with using drones to distribute plague vaccine in peanut butter pellets to prairie dogs, but not for the dogs’ benefit, ultimately. The goal is to immunize the prey of the endangered black footed ferret:


I wish I could get my flu vaccine in a peanut butter pellet.

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