Prairie Dogs

The Prairie Dogs are back!!!

After a while of completely renovating their exhibit from underground up, the little fur balls are back on display for your viewing!

Come check out their creatively designed exhibit and feel like you are walking in a prairie dog tunnel!

Here at the Bergen County Zoo, we have Black Tailed Prairie Dogs! These rodents are native to the Great Plains in the midwest of America. Their scientific name is Cynomys ludovicianus. 

Even in the bitter cold these guys do not hibernate. Instead, they torpor, which means that they slow their heartbeat, respiratory, and metabolism. Hibernation and torpor are similar but torpor is much shorter in time span (sometimes only one night) and is involuntary, as the weather affects the duration. Using torpor is for survival in the winter months when food is scarce. 

If you don't see any Prairie Dogs it is because they build their homes underground and can build extensive tunnels.They are great diggers and can make a whole network of connecting tunnels. 

Our new exhibit is designed to look like the underground home a prairie dog would build.

 Prairie Dogs are very social animals that live in colonies. Each one has a task to do. One of them is to watch for enemies. When you visit, listen for the bark-like sounds they make (hence the name Prairie Dog).