LEWIS AND CLARK AND THE STORY OF
ONE SPECIAL PRAIRIE DOG
As Lewis and Clark explored the grasslands of the Midwest, they
encountered thousands of mounds and what they call “barking squirrels”. A
strange site and difficult to explain, the group decided to capture one of
these unusual creatures and send it to President Jefferson. This proved to
be a difficult task as the prairie dog would scurry into one of their
hundreds of burrows at the first sign of peril.
Not realizing the vastness of the prairie dog network of tunnels the
travelers attempted to capture one of these furry creatures by digging
into the mounds, only to come up empty handed.
After other attempts a prairie dog was captured when the explorers poured
several barrels of water into the labyrinth to flood one of the animals
The captured prairie dog began its long journey to Washington. A boat ride
down the Missouri River to St. Louis was followed by a transfer to another
boat, which took him down the Mississippi River. The destination was New
Orleans. Now aboard a ship this rodent traveled up the Atlantic Ocean to
Baltimore. A wagon ride and three months after capture, the prairie dog
reached Washington. After meeting with an amused President Jefferson, the
prairie dog was placed on public display in Philadelphia.
Also see the
Prairie Dog PDF Map
This text from The Sioux City Art Center's “Prairie Dog Quest”
Last Update on December 17, 2002 15:50 UTC (19:50 am CST)