Speed goat

7 07 2021

When this critter crossed the horizon line above a band of horses a week or so ago, they took notice but weren’t alarmed. He stopped a couple of times to look toward us, but he kept moseying on.

Trivia: In Wyoming, pronghorns are affectionately (!?) called speed goats.

They are North America’s (the Western Hemisphere’s, according to Wikipedia) fastest land animal.

They are not true antelope. This is a great site about them: San Diego Zoo.

A fantastic book about pronghorns is “Built for Speed; A Year in the Life of Pronghorn,” by John A. Byers.


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12 responses

7 07 2021
Trish

Good to know there is some biodiversity in the basin 🙂

8 07 2021
TJ

Much more than people might think. I saw a badger the other night! I’ve seen a handful over the years. … I don’t want to get too close, but they’re awesome critters, too! 🙂

7 07 2021
Karen Schmiede

Thanks for the info!

8 07 2021
TJ

They’re cool, right?!

7 07 2021
Hutch

Thanks for sharing!

8 07 2021
TJ

I’m happy to share even a little about these critters! 🙂

7 07 2021
Sue E. Story

And “speed goats” they are! Now you see ’em…now you don’t. They are really, really, fast! 😊 We always like catching a glimpse of them now and then out there, TJ.

8 07 2021
TJ

I love the speed goats and love seeing them around here. Many people are surprised to learn that they’re in Disappointment Valley and Spring Creek Basin. Fortunately, there are too few to hunt. I’ve loved that nickname since a friend first told me about it YEARS ago!

9 07 2021
TamrahJo

The earliest lesson I learned on differentiating different local fauna, was, “antelopes will scurry through the fence, deer will always jump it” and durn if those speed goats won’t go over/under, through the middle – but in all my years on the plains AND in the mountains – traveling at dawn, dusk, middle of the night, did I ever see a white tail do anything other than leap over it with their tail high – not that I’m an expert – from far away, if one in doubt to species? To me? “look at how they flee through fences – that will tell ya – ” – – 😀

13 07 2021
TJ

Yes! Another interesting bit about pronghorns! I’ve seen them duck under fences many times. … That’s one reason we do (try to do – sometimes, the lay of the land makes it more difficult) wildlife-friendly fencing out here, where the lowest strand is not so low, so the pronghorns and fawns and calves can get under! 🙂

13 07 2021
TamrahJo

I remember a ‘middle of the night’ long, long ago,when I was a young driver, coming home cross-country on dirt roads, after a work shift that ended at 12am. I had just made a ‘right turn’ and was accelerating over to get over the small hill right after the ‘turn’ and crested it to find the road way FILLED with ‘speed goats’ in process of crossing from one grazing area to another – I slammed on the brakes, and bumped right into one of them. Rear left hip – the speed goat stood, for a moment, then ‘speeded away’ and ducked under a 5 strand barbwire fence, all but doing the ‘limbo’ in a sniper’s crawl status – I figured, “well, I got stopped soon enough to not bust a hip!” and the next morning? the outer ring, around the headlight, was so ever, slightly dented, and I ‘confessed’ to Dad, owner of the ‘work vehicle’ and he looked over everything, and we drove out to the place, and I saw the clumps of hair in the lower strand, etc., and Dad said, “let it go – just like the speed goat did….” – – But I’ll never forget the speed with which the antelope raced over the bar ditch, to scramble under that lower wire, without leaving a lot of blood/tissue on it – 😀

13 07 2021
TamrahJo

Oops! P.S. – DAD didn’t say “speed goat’ he said antelope – but reading your post, and living in cattle country, I thought of the higher, bottom wires and all I thought of was new baby livestock calves trucking out to the barditch/etc., (cuz the grass is always greener…..LOL) and mamas bawling over the fence, “GET your ARSE back over here! It’s watering hole time!!!!”

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