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Prairie Dogs (?) in Pennsylvania








Just outside of the fence at the Dog Park in Morrisville, PA in Bucks County is a small colony of adorable creatures.  They look like Prairie Dogs to me.  My husband, Bruce Witt,  took all of the videos and photos except for the Groundhog below.  Bruce is very patient in waiting for the little animals to come out and play.

Here is a photo of a Pennsylvania Ground Hog/Marmot – I don’t think that they are ground hogs, but I don’t know!


When I did research, Prairie Dogs are originally from all over the norther half of the US.  They have been hunted, and exterminated by farmers and ranchers.

In 2003, there was a US law passed to ban the sale of Prairie Dogs, until then they were sold as exotic pets.  Imagine being exterminated and sold as pets at the same time!

There are organizations in the US and Canada for rescuing Prairie Dogs.  Here are a few links:

No matter what their name is, they are adorable!

  1. May 30, 2012 at 10:10 am

    The funny thing is, I’m in Northampton County PA and I think I saw one of those little buggers this morning walking home from the bank! It was kind of far away, but it certainly wasn’t as big as a groundhog. Hrmm… curiouser and curiouser

    • May 30, 2012 at 10:43 am


      I am going to add some research I did to the post. Prairie Dogs were originally all over the northern US. There are rescue organizations working to save them, foster them in homes, etc. Farmers and ranchers like to exterminate them!

  2. May 30, 2012 at 11:15 am

    They do look like prairie dogs to me too. Nice pics and videos. Cute little guys.

  3. May 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Yesterday I watched a ground hog play across the street..I see them every Spring..this year though they are not out often..My dog barks at them !

    • May 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Our dogs are possessive of their people and their home! LOL.

  4. May 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    They are adorable. There must be other ways to protect our gardens and fields other than extermination.

    • May 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      I agree! Thanks for your comment, Greta

  5. Susan Critelli
    May 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Well, shoot, if those are prairie dogs, there may be some of those in Mercer County Park that I always assumed were groundhogs.

    • May 30, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      Susan, I am not a biologist, but they make me think of Prairie Dogs. They are related to other “ground squirrels” anyway, like ground hogs.

  6. May 31, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Is there such a things as a short tailed ground squirrel? This looks too chubby to be a “prairie” dog. And too gray too…

    • May 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      Apparently there are a number of types of ground squirrels and a lot of types of prairie dogs, they are too small to be ground hogs in my mind – but Kathy said that they might just be babies. All related, anyway!

  7. Diane Gatley
    May 31, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    It is an interesting question, but my guess is that these are groundhogs, and young ones. They are fatter than prairie dogs, their tails are longer and fluffier, and prairie dogs often sit up with their front legs in the air while they are looking around. They are shooting the dogs to extinction out in the prairies because they dig holes where the cattle fall in and break their legs.

  8. June 1, 2012 at 11:13 am

    How cute!

  9. Jessica
    January 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I have a prairie dog as a pet and those are definitely NOT prairie dogs!

    • January 4, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Thanks Jessica. Very interesting!

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