Gophers bigger problem than usual in south-central Kansas


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WICHITA, Kan. -- Gophers are a bigger problem than usual across the area this year.

The unsightly mounds they create are popping up in places all over Wichita and Hutchinson.

One of those places is the Sedgwick County Zoo.

Cheryl Rice is the Zoo's curator of horticulture. Rice says, "We've always had a gopher problem. But this year's been particularly bad."

Rice speculates this year's increased rainfall might have increased the number of insects the gophers can feed on now.

She says, "They'll pretty much get anywhere. They can get into our animal exhibits which we don't like. But they're mostly focused out in the fields and in the parking lot area where there's more concentration of food for them."

Zoo spokeswoman Melissa Graham says for now zoo officials are taking note of the increased gopher population but not taking action unless the zoo's animals are effected.

Numerous gopher mounds can be seen in front of the zoo's administration building, in the ditches along zoo boulevard and even in the medians of zoo boulevard.

Rice says, "They're everywhere. They can go under the roads and pop up in the medians."

The gophers are also making their presence known in Hutchinson also.

Matt Miller is superintendent at the Carey Park Golf Course.

Miller says, "We do battle them. We do some trapping."

Miller says in the past the course has hired someone to trap them but says it's expensive and the gophers keep coming back. He says nothing seems to work very well. He says they try to catch the rodents before they tunnel into the fairways, the t-boxes and the greens.


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