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Plague confirmed in Badlands prairie dogs


An outbreak of plague is confirmed in the prairie dog population of Badlands National Park.

The outbreak is also impacting the Buffalo Gap National Grassland. It was confirmed via test late last month, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Concerns were first raised after multiple prairie dog colonies were found with little activity. After a test, plague was confirmed in the area.

Plague is carried by fleas which eventually pass the disease onto prairie dogs. At this time, it’s unclear precisely how many colonies have been impacted. However, park officials say there is little threat to humans.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture