So after watching the Bison in Custer State Park, we continued on our way keeping an eye out for other wildlife.
We didn’t go too far before we saw a pair of Pronghorn Antelope grazing at the road edge.
A few Antelope facts:
- Their scientific name, antilocapra americana, means American Antelope Goat. But they are neither an antelope nor a goat. They are actually the only surviving member of a family going back 20 million years.
- It is the only animal in the world with branching horns, and the only animal to shed its horns annually. The horns, unlike antlers, consist of a bony core covered in a hardened sheath made of material similar to our fingernails or hair.
- They are the 2nd fastest land mammal in the world leaping in bounds of 20 feet forward and achieving speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour.
- They average about 3 1/2 feet at the shoulder and weigh between 90 and 120 pounds.
- Their eyes are very large and they possess a 320 degree field of vision.
- They have a very large heart and lungs, and hollow hair.
Just look how big their eyes are! This is how they can have the 320 degree field of vision.
Later, we drove to the nearby Wind Cave National Park where we saw more Pronghorns, a group of females,
and babies too!
Check out the legs of the adult below.
Hard to believe that these thin fragile looking legs can run over 50 miles per hour.
Here’s the adult male in the group:
Twin fawns nursing from mama…….
This is a hoot: A group of females had left their fawns behind and went to graze. One of the does then came back to check on her baby.
All the other fawns came running.
And so she was mobbed. FIVE fawns were trying to nurse at the same time.
Probably she’s a first time mom, and not used to this kind of craziness.
But she finally walked away….
much to the surprise of the babies.
And so they followed her..
until she began to butt them away.
She’s getting the hang this mothering deal, “I only gave birth to one, and I’m only nursing one. The rest of you beat it!”
We’ve seen Pronghorns in western Kansas, but usually from a great distance on a far away hill. In the wild they are very shy and skittish, so seeing them up close was quite a treat for us. They are beautiful amazing animals.
Here’s a short video:
I have a few more things to show you from our vacation, so bear with me.
Have a great day!
I am loving this. Their legs do like twigs, so delicate. The babies are cute and I love the Doe trying to get away!! Kids…
How gorgeous,I love the eyelashes! I wonder if the toothpick legs are easily broken when running so fast. This trip just keeps getting better and better! I am still tuned in, can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! Have a great day everybody!
oh man, i cannot believe how big their eyes are! i have never heard of this type of antelope. the horns on the males are crazy! that is hilarious how all the youngin’s attacked the mama for milk!! too funny! poor mama! i love the video…I am wondering who’s making all the squawking noise in the video…sounds like a birdee…but geeze, totally non stop chirping!
The antelope were standing in the middle of a prairie dog town and the sound is the dogs “barking” at the intruders. The doggies are very persistent.
Suzanne ~ I am so enjoying your road trip/vacation. Thanks for sharing and I’m looking forward to the next installment!!