Prairie Dogs - Learn from them ...
I would say this is one of the best episodes of "Wild Discovery" I have watched so far. This time they were covering one of the most endangered species of this planet the "Prairie Dogs", so what made me to write a blob on that ? No, it’s not the scenic beauty they showed or the lovely chases they usually show, it is purely because of the magic these "Prairie Dogs" weaved in my life. This was the first time I am seeing those "rat" like creatures and I should admit the fact that I fell in love the moment I saw them. I always love rats and squirrel type of mammals, and this one would now top the list from here on. These cute little creatures are doing a world of good to our nature and planet earth of course they convey a very strong message to humans like us and that message is nothing but "Love is Life ...". I am gonna narrate what I saw in that program and all the information that is being shared here is proprietary to "Discovery" channel and I am just converting the information into text ...
These lovely creatures live in the open farm lands of the US starting from the California belt to the great cost of Texas. Prairie dogs live as one family and they live in burrows. They are total veggies and hate meat. This program followed a particular Prairie dog family and the narrator has named them for convenience. They eat grass, grass and more grass for their survival. Carrots, Radish and Beetroot are feast as far as they are concerned. They have a very great sense of recognizing the objects and they form a "Yes" and a "No" to the objects they see. For example "Deer", "Bison", "Reindeer", "Squirrel" are in their "YES" list, where as "Hyena", "Fox", "Bear", "Wolf" and "Humans" are in their "NO" list. Every Prairie dog family has a leader and no one in that family will dis-obey the leader and that is the rule, the entire family obeys to every order of the leader and that leader is not like our Project Leader or Team Leader in IT companies, he or she is a true leader and a real leader.
The leader's main job is to alert his community of any upcoming danger, danger in their terms are none other than the things mentioned in their "NO" list, if they sight any of the object mentioned in the "NO" list, the leader starts giving alarm signals "keek ... keek ... keek ..." and you know the beauty of that signal ?? That signal has got a particular rhythm and every different rhythm means a different signal. If the "keek ... keek ... keek" is continuous and non-stop, then it means the enemy is very near the vicinity and the gang has to rush into the burrow without a second thought, if the same "keek ... keek ... keek" is for few minutes, then it means the leader has spotted an enemy and as of now no danger. If the "keek ... keek ... keek" is like our telephone bell, then it means the enemy is in the direct path of their burrows and the gang has to split in various directions to distract the enemy.
Hyena, Fox and Wolf treat on these poor, innocent creatures, they mercilessly kill them and feast of those small wonders. The Prairie dogs adapt a wonderful strategy to save themselves from these enemies. For example if a Prairie dog is being chased by a fox or a wolf, the leader will be the first one to jump into action, he will chase the fox or the wolf by risking his life, he will run very close to that enemy and try distracting him, if that enemy is smart and he is not getting distracted, the leader will have to take the next step of bouncing on the enemy and bite his tail, in the mean time the other members in the gang will run in all different directions and confuse the enemy. The lesson here is, when a Prairie dog is being chased for life, he has all rights to go and settle in any available burrow, it can be even his enemy's burrow, but for that time, the enemy will be more than happy to take custody of that fella and will protect him from their common enemy. How sweet naa ?. The food they get is being shared not only with fellow Prairie dogs, but also with few birds, deer’s and bison’s. Never live for yourself is the next lesson they teach us.
During rainy season snakes would find themselves a very cozy place inside the burrows dug by these poor Prairie dogs, these little creatures will dig a wonderful burrow for their entire family all thru the summer and when rain comes, this evil snake will happily go there and rest, what will those poor Prairie dogs do then for a house ?? Ah, these folks have a heart made of gold, they will be more than happy to let their house to the snake and the Prairie dogs will now seek the help of their expert builders who can finish the job of 4 months in just two days, they are called the "Dynamite Dogs". They come as a gang of 20, get the requirement from the leader and finish the job in just two day and go back, of course all for FREE. So the lesson we should learn here is, always help others and do not expect anything back from them. These dogs have got long sharp nails and cute nose which are their weapons, they constantly dig the ground for burrows and that kindles the vegetation and hence the grass is always greener and fresh in the areas where they live. Deer and Bison always thank these cute little fellas for their great job.
Summer is the time where there Prairie dogs work and slog all the day, no, they don’t have the habit of saving anything for future, they live life to the fullest, they live that moment. They eat as much as they can during summer and when the winter sets in and snow covers the entire farm land, these little fella's go inside their burrows and will not come out for 3 to 4 months till winter is over, so what do they do for 4 months inside the burrow ?? Well, the guess is rite, they mate and concentrate on developing their family and of course they sleep 18 hours a day. They can survive for 4 months without food and water and that is GOD's beauty, because he has given them the quality of secreting a fat under their skin and that would also serve as energy / protein for them to keep them alive and all these are possible only if they eat well during summer. So the lesson we have to learn here is, live life as if there is no tomorrow and be happy with the present day, don’t worry about future.
One day, a member of the Prairie dog was attacked by a wolf that too in front of his mother, brothers and sisters, the leader was not present at that time and hence this mishap occurred. The mother dog stood still and was seeing his little son being ripped by a pack of wolfs, you guys know what ?? the camera focused and zoomed on the mother Prairie dog and yes, they cried with tears flowing out of their little eyes, GOD has maintained one thing in common across all the life he has created in this world, that is the love of a mother towards its kid, anyone who watched this program would have had his eyes wet and I am no exception to that. Here comes the next part, moment the family noticed that their mom is crying, they all rushed towards their mom and started kissing her all over her body, this is to make the mother happy and to let her know that they are there to help her out. Wowwwww, do we humans do that all the time ?? They do mourn death, and they avoid eating for 10 days to mourn the death of their family member.
Here comes the real beauty, Prairie dogs cannot marry or mate whoever they wanted to, it is exactly similar to a typical tamil brahmin marriage, both the leaders of the two families should meet first and not sure what they talk, then they will send the boy to the girls burrow for a day and then the girl will come to the boy's burrow the next day, then they both would venture out and find themselves a burrow and they have to stay there all night, and finally if the alliance is successful, they both would stay on their own in their new apartment, or else they both depart to their respective burrows, fascinating rite ? Yes, every living thing has set few principles of life and they stick to that, and we humans who are considered to be the most intelligent creation of GOD, forget all these principles and change the rules for our needs. These creatures are living as an example to our mankind and let’s not destroy them. Hunters catch them for their skin and flesh to make medicines and wallets out of that, remember one thing, even after death they are proving to be useful for others, but we are proving to be useless for anyone even when we are living. Save Prairie dogs and learn those lovely lessons they teach us.