Pronghorns Chase Coyote – For Real!

May 17, 2014 at 6:00 am (Nature, Nature photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife) (, , )

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While exploring the high country of Laramie, Wyoming on Thursday morning, I saw a most unusual turn of the tables.  At first I saw only the herd of pronghorn antelope running in a tight bunch, their white haunches flashing in the sunlight.  Then I saw a smaller animal running quite a bit ahead.  It looked big enough and furry enough to be a wolf, but it was probably a coyote.

The photos were distorted by the strong heat waves from the warming sun on this cold morning, but the animal in front is definitely a predator.  At first the herd stood watching it depart.  Then the lead male gave chase, and he was joined by the entire herd.

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Pronghorns are quite fast, and I’m not sure if the coyote was surprised by the chase, or if he just didn’t have it in him to run faster, but the antelope quickly caught up to it.  Then it looked as if they were trying to run it down for having the temerity to think it could have one of them for a meal.

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You’ll see in the last photograph that the herd seemed to run it down, but oddly it just lay on the ground as if saying “Can’t you take a joke?”  Then it loped off, nursing its pride no doubt.

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Or is it possible they were just having fun playing chase?  Have you ever heard of something like this?

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2 Comments

  1. Judy Bell said,

    Very interesting.

  2. Pronghorn Family | Cindy McIntyre's Blog said,

    […] In the video, filmed this week at Fossil Butte National Monument near Kemmerer, Wyoming, this small pronghorn family consists of three does, four fawns, and an imposing patriarch.  At one point, something startled the herd, and they took off like buckshot.  Only the male was unperturbed.  Pronghorns can run up to 60 mph, and I’ve seen them chase a coyote that was interested in newborn fawns.  (See my earlier blog post for the photos.) […]

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