Oakley, Kansas: Prairie Dog TownBillboards compel you to pull off and gaze at the World's Largest Prairie Dog -- and other freaks.
Visitor Tips and News About Prairie Dog Town
As of October 2011, the PDT is still open. Larry has had a few bites but once the interested parties find out how much work is involved, they bow out. If he can't find an interested party soon, he says he is considering trying to sell it to Cracker Barrel and finding homes for the animals. Larry has obtained a zen-like attitude about the whole thing and mused that sometimes the time has come for something to come to an end, and that you never see luggage on a hearse, so you can't take it with you. He and is wife are yearning to take a road trip themselves -- to Niagara Falls. This is definitely a must see on a road trip, especially since its days seem numbered. The animals are varied and very approachable. It was an awesome opportunity to see wild animals up close. It is right off I-70, so on the way of any road tripper, and the gas station there has decent prices as well.[Slumlord, 11/01/2011]
We fed goats and a donkey. We laughed about the giant prairie dog -- it made the trip interesting. Also. the gigantic rabbit was amazing. The couple who run the place are so genuinely friendly and warm. We had a great time.[Debbie Clark, 12/15/2010]
A prairie-themed miniature zoo with rattlesnakes, coyote, buffalo, and a yard full of free running prairie dogs. Nice gift shop with gag gifts, postcards, native American replica crafts, and taxidermy birds, prairie creatures and hybrids.[Andrea, 06/20/2010]
This is not a good place. Don't get me wrong, I think it's funny that the world's largest prairie dog is a statue. Understand, I'm a big fan of kitsch who has paid to see a "man eating chicken" on many occasions (Though I do think the World Largest Prairie Dog's shield could have been more interesting -- PT Barnum would be scandalized by the simple plywood wall). I don't even so much mind the freak-show aspect of the place. Given the size of corporate farming, there are probably many deformed animals born each year, and most are probably euthanized, or ground up and used for feed. At least the "freaks" at Prairie Dog Town are allowed to walk about and graze a bit -- they probably have more space than the majority of cattle being raised for beef.
What I don't like about the place are the non-domesticated animals, presumably caught in the wild, which are kept in small, unadorned pens. I saw a badger so distressed that it constantly ran from one end of his pen to the other, stopping only to claw frantically at the wire cage every few minutes.
I'm also convinced that many of the "live" rattlesnakes on display are actually dead, but have been left in the pen to create the impression that there is a large den on display.[TR, 09/02/2009]
What a hoot! I even bought a diamond back rattlesnake skin hat. I would count the owner as one of the best attraction there...he is lively, entertaining and quite the showman.[Carla Simmons, 07/24/2007]