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Checking a Prairie Dog for Fleas

Detailed Description

National Park Service veterinarian Kevin Castle checks an anaesthetized prairie dog for fleas in Wind Cave National Park. 

Over 30 organizations and agencies are testing a USGS-developed oral vaccine to prevent the spread of plague in prairie dogs. If successful, the sylvatic plague vaccine could help protect endangered black-footed ferrets in the western U.S. because the ferrets rely on prairie dogs for food. Castle tags each trapped prairie dog and takes hair, whisker, and blood samples before scientists release the animals back into the wild.


Public Domain.