SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Prairie dogs are unpopular in some places, to the point that the burrowing rodents are considered target practice for ranchers and farmers.
Meanwhile,, Santa Fe has spent $559,000 in the past 12 years to relocate prairie dogs from the northern New Mexico city to a federal conservation area.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the critters are flushed from their dens with a mild soapy solution and then given a bath. The city then fattens up the prairie dogs before they’re sent on their way.
However, all is not peaches and cream for the relocated prairie dogs.
Once they’re at the El Malpai National Conservation Area near Grants, the prairie dogs are considered prey for the endangered black-footed ferret.