Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sadly, some misguided, misinformed, and malignant individual has been posting signs trying to connect prairie dogs and monkey pox. Monkey pox, as it is aptly named, comes from African monkeys. As prairie dogs and monkeys do not inhabit the same habitat, it is unlikely that a wild prairie dog could ever contract the disease under normal circumstances. Monkey pox reached the United States in 2003, from infected Gambian rats being imported by, a less than diligent exotic pet sales house. The rats infected adjacent, captive prairie dogs, and the disease was transmitted to humans. The USDA stepped in and stopped the pet trade in prairie dogs, a blessing for the prairie dogs, as no longer could unscrupulous people take young from their families for sale.