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Use of controversial 'Rodenator' device to kill prairie dogs in Colorado upsets some residents

March 17, 2011 |  6:50 pm

BOULDER, Colo. — Landowners have been using an explosive, state-approved device to blow up prairie dog holes -- and some neighbors don't like it.

The Daily Camera reported Thursday that the Colorado Wildlife Commission approved the "Rodenator" in 2006. It explodes burrows by igniting a propane mixture pumped into the holes.

PrairieDog Nearby residents in Boulder have complained the method is inhumane and extremely loud. Some have reported seeing prairie dogs on fire.

Boulder County sheriff's officials have estimated the explosions exceed the county's sound limit of 55 decibels.

Employees at a ranch where the device is being used say it isn't meant to kill the animals.

It's illegal to use Rodenator in Boulder, but not in the county, where the ranch is located.

Debate rages about use of squirrel-detonating Rodenator in Spokane, Wash.
Valley Forge park officials are urged to use coyotes, not hunters, to control deer population

-- Associated Press

Video: A resident explains her concerns about the use of the Rodenator. Credit: Daily Camera
Photo: A prairie dog in Los Angeles in 2009. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times

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