Celebrate the Year of the Rat by visiting prairie dogs at the Texas Zoo

Celebrate the Year of the Rat by visiting prairie dogs at the Texas Zoo

VICTORIA, Texas – Saturday marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year and the Lunar New Year. 2020 is the Year of the Rat.

While there aren’t any rats on display at the Texas Zoo –  Black-tailed prairie dogs are the closest relation to the rat. Liz Jensen, executive director at The Texas Zoo, shares some tidbits about the popular rodent.

“We have Humphrey, Styx, Chrissy and Bubba,” Jensen said. “They are pretty cute and they are a hit with little kids. Prairie dogs are super important for prairie grassland ecology, without prairie dogs it would be really hard packed earth, you have less production of grasses and so forth and prairie dogs they aerate the soil.”

Recent years of the rat include 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008. Rats are clever, quick thinkers that are successful but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.