Black-tailed Prairie Dog at Diergaarde Blijdorp, Rotterdam (Holland)
The Black-tailed Prairie Dog is a rodent of the family Sciuridae found in the Great Plains of North America from about the United States-Canada border to the United States-Mexico border. Their preferred habitat is short-grass and mixed-grass prairies and desert grasslands. Prairie dog habitats are referred to as towns. Closely related to the ground squirrel, the Black-tailed Prairie Dog is generally tan in colour with a lighter chest and neck. It has a long body, small front paws with long claws, and a short, black-tipped tail from which it's name is derived. Black-tailed Prairie Dogs are extremely vocal and have a sophisticated communication system. They have a variety of call sounds, including one that resembles a dog's bark. Calls are used to warn others of an impending threat and spread quickly through a town in hopes of scaring off predators.
Diergaarde Blijdorp, officially Rotterdam Zoo, is a zoo located in the northwestern part of Rotterdam. It is one of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands, and has been operated by the Stichting Koninklijke Rotterdamse Diergaarde ("Royal Rotterdam Zoo Foundation"). Divided into several zoogeographic regions, the 26-hectare (64.25-acre) Blijdorp Zoo is home to more than 180 species. It also has a shop, multiple cafes, and an information centre. The zoo is a member of the Dutch Zoo Federation (NVD) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). In 2007, it celebrated its 150th anniversary.