Lynda Watson has captured 2000 prairie dogs to date and had hopes to rescue all 58,000 prairie dogs living at the city's land application site east of Lubbock. But, it has become quite a costly rescue effort, money Watson says is spending out of her own pocket.
"Well, I know she's spending all that she can gather up to do it, and she's not making a penny off of it. And, she's trying to save as many of the animals as she can. I would say she's spending anywhere from $150 a day just to drive her truck on that property, with little funding," said exotic animal explorer, Joe Bill Rogers. Rogers used to catch prairie dogs for many years, but says his health prohibits him from helping Watson.
Although, Rogers has about 400 prairie dogs and is keeping some Watson catches, but other than that, he says he can't afford to help. Rogers says it is very expensive to catch prairie dogs. Watson has spent an estimated $12,000 to move, care for, and catch 2000 prairie dogs. Just think about how much 50,000 prairie dogs would cost her.
Plus, Watson is the only one catching so it's been hard on her physically. "I know her knees are getting bad from going up and down over the prairie dog holes from catching the prairie dogs. She's got bad knees, but she gets out there and keeps working if she is hurting," said Rogers.
Watson was not available for comment, but says she is afraid she won't be able to rescue many more prairie dogs. Mayor Marc McDougal says the city will poison the prairie dogs in January after the burrowing owl migrates. The Llano Estacado Native American Society is financially helping Watson with her rescue efforts. But, Watson says there is not enough money to save all the prairie dogs.