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Cloverleaf with a snub nose at Hannover Adventure Zoo

05-27-2011 11:11 AM CET | Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Press release from: Hannover Adventure Zoo

Reinforcement for Yukon Beringia dig

Reinforcement for Yukon Beringia dig

Yukon Bay celebrates first Prairie Dog pups

It was unusually quiet just before Easter amongst the normally playful and curious prairie dogs in Yukon Bay, the new Canadian theme world at Hannover Adventure Zoo. They disappeared underground more and more frequently for longer and longer periods. When they reappeared it was only to drag bundles of straw into their tunnel system.

Now we know why. They're back, with reinforcements: the first prairie dog pups born at Hannover Zoo's new Yukon Bay Canadian theme world look like furry clover-leaves with snub noses. Their motto seems to be: together we are strong. The tiny little zooborns are still extremely hesitant when they appear in the burrow entrance, but everyday they get that little bit more daring.

Prairie dogs arrive on this world weighing just 15 grams, totally blind and naked, somewhere deep underground in their protective burrow. They are nursed on mother’s milk for about seven weeks, and at some time in weeks 5 – 6 they start exploring. On Friday, 20 May, the pups were seen for the first time. Since then, the tiny little fellows have been emerging more frequently, peering out of their burrow entrance usually from early afternoon onwards.

They are going to be very busy from now until autumn, gaining at least 500 grams in weight (they don’t know they will be fed every day in the zoo and, unlike in the wild, won’t need a thick layer of fat to survive the winter).

This clan of burrowing rodents only arrived last September in the new Canadian theme world. The prairie dogs can be seen in “Yukon Beringia”, site of an archaeological dig. Archaeologists discovered bones there of prehistoric animals (so the Yukon Bay story goes). A notice board on the now submerged Bering land bridge explains how prehistoric animals like the Mammoth were able to journey from Asia to North America.

The dig is now overrun by the prairie dogs. The name prairie dog is actually misleading: this small rodent belongs to the sciuridae (squirrel) family and has nothing to do with dogs. Except that when they sense danger, they give a warning bark!

Adventure Zoo with about 3,400 animals in seven unique theme worlds, numerous animal shows and commented feedings daily, free attractions such as the Zambezi boat ride, Henry’s Underwater World, jungle path, evolution trail, adventure playgrounds, petting meadow as well as regional specialties in every theme world.

Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover
(Hannover Adventure Zoo)
Adenauerallee 3
D-30175 Hannover
Presse: Dr. Simone Hagenmeyer
Tel. (+49) 511 28074117

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