This handsome Pronghorn buck was out for a lazy walk in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley. Suffering from an itch on its neck, it improvised and used a bush to scratch its neck.
These guys are usually pretty skittish but this one and I seemed to kind of click on this morning back in June. He was initially laying down on a hillside when I started my hike on a trail going right near him. He wasn’t bothered a bit and gave me a wide variety of poses, never giving me a second glance.
Pronghorn (often incorrectly called antelope) are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah. They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds.
Before the arrival of western Europeans, it is believed as many as 40 million of them roamed the open rangelands of North America – possibly more than there were bison. Hunting and fragmentation of their habitat by fences and human settlements took its toll and as few as 20,000 remained at the start of the 20th century.
Thankfully conservation and education saved them from extinction and they now number almost 1 million.