Cowtown Yoostabes, Prairie Edition: Dogs Gone

The land where an industrial park is today at the intersection of East Loop 820 and Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway—even before there was an intersection of East Loop 820 and Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway—yoostabe Prairie Dog Town.

yoostabes prairie single dogHundreds, if not thousands, of black-tailed prairie dogs lived in a pasture, where they had their own suburban community, a low-level Levittown.

yoostabes prairie dogs 1968 and nowIn the 1960s the little critters survived the coming of first the Loop and then the freeway. In the 1970s you could park on the frontage road at the edge of the colony and watch its population from your car. But if you got out of your car, the colony’s sentries would bark the “Dive! Dive!” alert, and everyone would scamper to the basement.

yoostabes prairie anchorAnd that caution would work against the colony in the 1980s when the farm was sold for industrial development. An eviction notice went down every hole. City Parks Department workers and Humane Society volunteers tried to capture as many prairie dogs as they could to relocate them to west Texas but with limited success: The little critters were too smart for their own good, hunkering and bunkering safely out of sight in their network of tunnels and chambers.

At least two other locations in southeast Fort Worth, including a city park, also had colonies. Today you can see prairie dogs at the Fort Worth Nature Center.

This Channel 5 “Fort Worth Action News” video clip, digitized from VHS, is 110 seconds long:

And here is fifty seconds of video of adults and juveniles at the colony:

This entry was posted in Cowtown in Motion, Downtown, All Around, East Side, Fauna, Fort Worth Underfoot, Life in the Past Lane. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cowtown Yoostabes, Prairie Edition: Dogs Gone

  1. Lois Cathey says:

    Mike, haven’t seen any of your stories lately, miss them. I always enjoy them

    • hometown says:

      Thank you, Lois. I have continued to post daily to my blog at When the blog turned four on May 27 I stopped “teasing” the posts on Facebook because after 850 posts I had detected little interest in the blog on Facebook. But there has been something different at each day since May 27, and I will continue to post daily. Today, for example, there is a post about Fort Worth’s birthday and another video postcard of the flooded river. Tomorrow the post will be about the Electric Building. The blog is browsable by categories and searchable by keywords.

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