Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam,
And the deer and the antelope play… (Western folk song by Daniel E. Kelley and Brewster M. Higley – 1872-ish.)
I promise I will write the full story of this trip soon. Last week hubby and I were in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. This particular day had not gone to plan. And I had finally met my nemesis of a road. “Impassable When When Wet” actually was! But not all was lost.
Our alternate route led us to ANTELOPE!! (technically Pronghorn which I will share details of in a minute.) In Southern Alberta. I was thrilled. Over the years I’ve seen many a buffalo roam, and deer at play. But this was a first for both of us! I crested a hill and thought, “oh look, there’s a buck”. Then realized the antlers were all wrong. There, in the middle of the field, just chilling (see the main picture) was a beautiful creature I’d never seen before.
And we weren’t done yet!…
Another turn, another backroad, and there was a small herd. The females quickly navigated the fence. The male was looking quite panicked (probably hadn’t asked stopped to ask directions), so we halted to give him room to think. As the gals were rolling their eyes going, “FFS Joe, come on”, he finally figured out how to crawl, then went sprinting off to join them.
- Pronghorn never evolved to jump fences…
- They have such widespread eyes, they can spot a predator from 6km away…
- The fastest land animal in N.America, they can reach speeds close to 60mph/100kph – and can maintain it longer than a cheetah.
- Their closest relatives are the giraffe and okapi!
A couple of interesting articles here: https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/article/animal-facts-pronghorn