Mama and Junior arrived at the ranch last Tuesday night. They're still here.
Since it's not normal for a mom/baby pair to be alone and not among the safety of a herd,
I suspected something was not right about these two. I think I've finally figured it out.
Mama pronghorn is a hot mess. Her left hind ankle is very swollen and she limps when she runs.
She also has a wound on her chest. One of her horns curves downward and practically pokes her in the eye,
and don't get me started about all the flies on her face. I want to gather her up and put her on stall rest,
but by choosing to live here inside the fence, she's sort of done that herself.
I think she's figured out that predators don't come close to civilization/my house,
so that's the safest place for her and Junior to be.
She doesn't seem threatened by me and doesn't run away or make the pronghorn warning call when I get close.
(There's an audio recording of a pronghorn call on this page.)
I've stopped tippy-toeing around them and found that if I just act normally, they're cool with it.
I talk to them all the time and they're used to my voice.
They look at me like I'm weird, but that's nothing new.
I'll zoom out wide here so you can get the big picture. I set up a water tub for them;
I'm not sure how much or if they're drinking from it because the equines discovered it and think
it's quite the novelty to be able to get a drink without walking back to the barn.
When Johnny showed up, Mama became alarmed and started in with her warning call.
I'm sure she thought he was a mini mountain lion.
I walked away, knowing Johnny would follow me, so that Mama wouldn't get upset and run unnecessarily.
Now that I know Mama needs time to rest and heal, I've got to resist the temptation to hang out with them,
but it's damned difficult – Junior is so stinkin' cute and photogenic.
I'll try to keep my distance and admire them afar. They're welcome to stay as long as they'd like.
Besides, I've got a hay delivery coming this week. What's two more mouths to feed?