Save Lawton Oklahoma Prairie Dogs!

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The City of Lawton, Oklahoma approved a measure to reduce the population of our local prairie dogs at Elmer Thomas Park without public knowledge by poison. Their goal was to reduce the population from 10,000 to 100.

Parks and Recreation spokesperson Kim Shahan told KSWO 7 News (http://www.kswo.com) that public safety is the first issue. Shahan says "I don't want a child running through this park when there's lots of people here and falling in a hole and breaking their leg. That's the most important thing here, concerning this park."

Lawton Mayor John Purcell agrees with Shahan. He also states that relocation is too expensive and ineffective. The poisoning mission will cost $163,000 while relocation estimates are $200,000. However, since there was no public knowledge of the city's concern with the prairie dog population, he has not considered a fundraiser for their relocation to a prairie dog sanctuary as many residents have. The Mayor has also stated their breeding season which is right now produces many pups to where relocation isn't effective. However, according the Prairie Dog Coalition (http://prairiedogcoalition.org/), "Prairie dogs actually breed at a very low rate. They reproduce only once per year and the average litter size is 3-4 pups. Confronted with barriers to expansion or years of poor vegetative growth, prairie dogs practice their own population control." This is the key statement: They practice their own population control. How many complaints are they actually receiving about people seeing too many prairie dogs? Is it more than those complaints to those who want to protect them?

Please join us; Kristin Rielly, Sylvia Thompson, and Justin Rielly, to stop the poisoning of our Lawton Prairie Dog Population! Thank you!