Monday, October 7, 2013

Pronghorn Antelopes: Saskatchewan's TransCanada Highway

Pronghorn Antelope © Shelley Banks 2103. all rights reserved
Mature male Pronghorn Antelope beside the TransCanada Highway. © SB
West of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, yesterday, we saw more than two dozen Pronghorn Antelope along the TransCanada Highway.

These very fast moving (up to 100 km/hour) mammals have excellent camouflage — tan fur against tan grasses.

And they can be elusive.

Sometimes, a drive west from Regina along the TransCanada yields sightings of several; sometimes, none.

The Pronghorn is a native North American animal, evolving from other mammals that have been here more than 25 million years. (Now that is a long time! And my source is The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, whose researchers have a much better sense of long time than me.)

And so Pronghorn Antelopes are one-of-a-kind, the only surviving members of their family.

Fall is said to be a good time to see them (when the herds gather). I was hoping for great antelope encounters on our drive — and was not disappointed.

The first group of Pronghorn Antelopes were far away on a rise of land, and the third and fourth groups were only distant white and brown specks... But the second group of five of these wonderful, wild Prairie animals was clear, bright and alert, and fairly close to the highway.

Pronghorn Antelope © Shelley Banks 2103. all rights reserved
Young male Pronghorn Antelope, with stubs of horns. © SB
Pronghorn Antelope © Shelley Banks 2103. all rights reserved
Distant Pronghorn Antelope, on a Prairie bluff.   © SB

What are these? Pronghorn Antelope. 
Location: West of Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
Photo date: October 6, 2013.


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