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Gringo bucks — and does — for Sonora

23 June 2007

Associated Press – June 23, 2007 2:25 PM ET

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – More than 150 American pronghorn fawns were captured on F.E. Warren Air Force Base and shipped to Mexico as part of a program that seeks to revive Sonoran and peninsular pronghorn populations.

The fawns will be kept in wildlife preserves or other protected areas while scientists determine how closely the DNA of American pronghorn match that of Sonoran and peninsular pronghorn.

If they determine that the DNA is suitably similar, then the American pronghorn will be released in the wild with the Sonoran and peninsular pronghorn to breed.

Jon Stephens of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department organized the capture. He says in addition to helping bolster Mexican pronghorn populations, the program helps control pronghorn in Wyoming through nonlethal means.

This is the fourth year Wyoming has sent pronghorns to Mexico for the recovery effort. In all, the state has sent more than 300 American pronghorn to Mexico.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press

Pronghorn are one of my favorite critters… hunting them is a big business down my way, and I had to write about them, so actually learned a few things. They’re not antelope, and not goats, but the unique survivors of a family of animals that died out after the last ice age. They’re the fastest runners on earth, but have one drawback to their survival in the modern age. They can’t jump, so when they run into a fence, they aren’t sure what to do. Insert your own “illegal immigrant” comment here.

I took this photo from my car window with a disposable camera driving commuting down to Marfa… we’re a similar environment and the little guys from Wyoming should feel right at home in Sonora.

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