Another Wounded Pronghorn at Yellowstone?

Photo of a pronghorn buck with a possible wound.

Pronghorn Buck; Slough Creek, Yellowstone National Park

Here’s a pronghorn buck that I also saw and photographed last May.  It was in the Slough Creek area.  It’s also missing a chunk of hair at the top of the shoulders.  It also seems to be missing some flesh, but it’s hard to be certain because of the angle of view.  The doe in the previous posts provided a good view of her wound because she was  walking downhill.  The only point of posting this image is that it is the second pronghorn I saw in May that seems to have a wound in about the same place.  I find that interesting.  Was it a golden eagle?  I don’t know, but it’s possible.


About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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2 Responses to Another Wounded Pronghorn at Yellowstone?

  1. Pat Ulrich says:

    Hey Jim, a predatory action certainly is the first thing that comes to mind when I see a wound like that. For pronghorn though, I wonder if it was perhaps from crawling under a wire fence? I believe I’ve read that they have a difficult time with their annual migrations outside of park boundaries due to the erection of fences. They are generally reluctant to jump over a fence and will instead try to squeeze under them — and that area of the shoulder would be the most likely place to get caught while crawling under. Anyway, just another hypothesis.

    • Jim Coda says:

      Hi Pat. You’re right about pronghorns and their tendency to crawl under fences. I also agree fencing could cause injury to the back of a pronghorn’s neck. For a good article about wildlife and fences, including how to build wildlife-friendly fences, click here. I read a similar article a year or two ago written by some Colorado Fish and Game people and ever since then I’ve been very conscious of whether the fencing I see is wildlife friendly. I hardly ever see fencing that is wildlife friendly.

      For a good research report about predation of Yellowstone pronghorns and their annual range click here. According to the report, they basically range from the Lamar Valley to a relatively small area just north of the park referred to as the Gardiner Basin. A good way to see some pronghorn in the Gardiner Basin is to drive the Old Yellowstone Road from the North Entrance to Cinnabar, which I do on occasion. For a while the road crosses Park Service land and then it crosses private land. I don’t remember seeing any bothersome fencing along that road, but I have no idea as to the amount of fencing overall in the Basin let alone how much of it is pronghorn friendly (i.e., enough room to crawl under). I think much of it is Forest Service land.

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