After weeks of backlash from activists, Naropa University has withdrawn its application for a city permit to kill about 100 prairie dogs on the school's east Boulder campus.

The Daily Camera reports that after the Buddhist university applied for the lethal control permit this summer, more than 135,000 prairie dog supporters signed an online petition and activists staged a protest to decry the school's application.

University spokesman Bill Rigler says the vocal criticism was not the main reason they pulled the permit. He says the school has received promising leads on possible relocation sites.

Naropa officials say they have always intended to relocate the animals, not kill them. They say they have spent four years and $100,000 researching non-lethal removal options.