Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pronghorn herd near Pueblo, CO

Boy, I've been distracted by a problem with not being able to access a number of pics I took in So Texas-now recovered I can get back to posting starting with these pronghorn then later I will post some of those So Texas pics. I spotted these beautiful pronghorn as the leaders began crossing a state highway in front of me. I pulled over immediately as there were no other vehicles around and I wanted the herd to quickly get across before vehicles that usually travel well over the 65 mph speed limit came and put them at risk. This strategy worked but I had not realized just how many pronghorn were in the herd--right around 30 animals, which is one of the largest herds I have seen in western Pueblo County in recent memory.
So it took them awhile to all, each following single file, to go under the fence on one side of the road then get across to the other side and safely get under the fence then into a field on the other side. And they did so safely though soon afterwards several vehicles flew through. I then slowly drove up nearer to them to get these photos before they wandered off.
As I edited these pics I realized that I can see the rib cages on several of the pronghorn. I don't recall having seen this on pronghorn before but I am not sufficiently experienced with this species to know for sure if this is a sign of underweight (ie, horses in good health can have their rib cages visible). However I would not be surprised if they were underweight since this and much of southern Colorado was in an 'exceptional' drought last growing season and native grasses suffered. SeEtta