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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Internet beloved prairie dogs call College Station their home

Bing+the+prairie+dog+enjoys+Chex+mix+during+photo+shoots+and+appearances.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Bing the prairie dog enjoys Chex mix during photo shoots and appearances.

While Reveille might be the queen of Snapchat and Instagram stories at Texas A&M, two sisters who attend Texas A&M have teamed up to run an Instagram account for their two famous prairie dogs.
Aggie sisters Cassidy and Savannah Bryce brought two prairie dogs from Kingwood to College Station. Not only do the two own these pets, but they also run a popular Instagram account under the username @prairiedogpack for the prairie dogs, Bing and Swarley, that has gained over 90,000 followers.
The prairie dogs are named from popular television shows. Bing, got his name from Chandler Bing of “Friends” and Swarley, a nickname the character Barney got in an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.”
Cassidy, biomedical science freshman, got Bing and Swarley when she was in high school and decided to bring them to College Station when she was began at A&M. Because Cassidy lives in a dorm, her sister, Savannah biomedical engineering senior, usually keeps the prairie dogs at her house.
Cassidy first made the Instagram account when she got Bing as a baby her freshman year of high school. In addition to the Instagram, she also ran a Vine account that became popular and landed her a nomination at the Shorty Awards hosted in New York City.
“I knew I wasn’t going to win the award but my ticket to the event was paid for and Bing got pictures taken on the green carpet at the event,” Cassidy said. “I also knew I had a lot of followers in New York and I had a meet-and-greet in Central Park.”
A lot of Cassidy and Savannah’s time is spent on photo shoots for Bing and Swarley’s Instagram account, the sisters said.
“We focus on anything that is relevant or relatable to people at the moment,” Savannah said. “We’ll make videos with Bing and Swarley on TV shows we like that are popular and then dress them up to the theme.”
Cassidy said the outfits and accessories she buys for the photoshoots usually come from Amazon and old dolls or Webkinz clothes, which fit the pair perfectly.
Once her followers discovered she attended A&M, Cassidy said she began receiving messages from the animals’ Instagram account asking for meet-and-greets with the pair.
“I’m really busy with school but sometimes I’ll put Bing in my purse and I like to bring him around to class or to meet up with people on campus who have messaged me through the Instagram account,” Cassidy said.
Savannah said Bing is the more outgoing prairie dog compared to Swarley and that Bing likes to be around people while Swarley is more of an introvert. However, according to Savannah, Swarley is very active despite her introversion.
“Bing is lazy while Swarley is a go getter, she is always digging even if we just set her down on the bed. She digs all through the sheets, while if it was Bing on a bed he will just fall asleep,” Savannah said. “They live in a two-story-high ferret cage, but when I come home I let them run around, and give them blankets or newspaper to dig. Digging is their passion.”
Sarah Bush, marketing senior and Savannah’s roommate, said she loves living with the prairie dogs even though they can be a little chaotic.
“They are a lot crazier than people may guess,” Bush said. “Especially when they try to do photo shoots they just run all over the place and the Instagram makes them look perfect but it takes many tries to get that perfect picture that the sisters end up posting.”
Savannah and Cassidy will be continuing meetups with their followers including an event hosted by Aggie Miracle, a student organization Savannah is involved in on campus.
“We have awareness days to get people excited about raising money for hospitals,” Savannah said. “The week after Thanksgiving we have a petting zoo day and Cassidy is going to post on Instagram to let the followers know that Bing will be there to meet people.”

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