2020—Fast on her Feet

It’s been an exciting few days in Yellowstone National Park. So much to see and so much to photograph. We’ve seen Pronghorn every day since Monday’s drive from Bozeman and we spent a little time with a small herd of them on Old Yellowstone Road on Wednesday when I photographed this doe who seemed curious, but not alarmed, about us. However the next day, we witnessed something as we approached the park entrance at Roosevelt Arch that I will never forget. Pronghorn are the fastest land animals in North America. They can run at speeds close to 60 miles an hour. When we saw a large herd of Pronghorn running down a hillside at top speed we wondered what might be chasing them. We pulled over to watch an incredible drama ensue. In the opposite direction of the retreating herd, a lone Pronghorn was running for its life pursued by two Coyotes. The chase lasted a few short minutes as the coyotes drove the Pronghorn, already injured or ill, across the road in front of us to the hillside next to the road and overpowered it. It did not end well for the Pronghorn but those few minutes of real life in the wild is seared in my brain. I felt as if I were on the Serengeti in Africa, not on a road leading to Yellowstone in Montana. It is life in the wild and survival of the fittest is true whether you’re on an African savannah or in a National Park. I choose to believe this little doe was fast enough that day.