Yellowstone: Pronghorn

This is part of a series of posts about wildlife we saw in Yellowstone National Park during our June vacation in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

The pronghorn, related to antelopes such as the gazelle or springbok, is the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere, reaching speeds up to 55 mph for a half mile. Although there are no antelope species native to North America, that didn’t stop millions of American school children from singing about pronghorns in the song “Home on the Range” about the American West:

Home, home on the range,

Where the deer and the antelope play;

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Males have larger, pronged horns than females. Like their African brethren, pronghorn hang out in fields of grass or low shrubs, where they can spot predators and run to safety. Pronghorn neared extinction a hundred years ago, but they have rebounded since then. There are several hundred pronghorn in Yellowstone.

Fawns are born in late May, and twins are common. In late June we saw these two fawns nursing.

pronghorn nursing two fawns
pronghorn nursing two fawns

Below, the male stands between the road and two females and two fawns, watching.

pronghorn family
pronghorn family

We saw these pronghorns near the Lamar River west of the Tower Junction. The Lamar River valley is noted for its wildlife. We drove through there on our first full day in Yellowstone, and we kept going back.

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charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

2 thoughts on “Yellowstone: Pronghorn”

  1. oh, how I would love to travel to the Yellowstone NP again! I was there when I was 11 years old and I still remember how impressed I was by the wonderful nature all around me!!

    1. Thank you. This was our first visit to Yellowstone NP, and we’ll be back. I hope you get to return to Yellowstone, and if you do, our Yellowstone wildlife posts include where we saw the animals. I enjoy your wildlife posts, and I’ve patterned these after yours!
      Charley

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