Baby pronghorn saved after mother fatally injured on the Canadian prairies

Written by on June 12, 2019 in Critter MIA - No comments

It was a local rancher who first spotted the badly injured pronghorn.

The doe was on the highway just east of Veinerville, in the deep southeast corner of Alberta, and clearly had been hit by a vehicle.

Provincial Fish and Wildlife Officer Jeff Gilham responded to that May 28 morning call for help.

And, together the two men knew just what to do.

Unfortunately, the pregnant pronghorn had broken legs, was in a lot of pain and had to be euthanized, according to Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

Officer Gilham and the rancher quickly made a game plan to attempt to save the fawn’s life,” the province posted on social media Tuesday.

They would deliver the fawn by caesarian.

The rancher, Tyrel Pahl, told the Prairie Post he rushed home to get a scalpel.

“I had never done it before but as a rancher I’d seen lots of cesareans on cows so I kind of knew what I was looking for,” Pahl to the newspaper. “I found the back legs then cut through the uterus and then pulled him out. He had drank a little fluid. I irritated his nose and he started sniffling and snorting and started to breathe.”

Gilham got a coat to dry him off and bundle him up before taking the newborn to a local veterinary clinic for treatment.

Alberta doesn’t have really have a rehabilitation program for pronghorns, which are the fast land mammal in North America, able to reach a top speed of nearly 100 kilometres per hour.

But Gilham knew the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo in the neighbouring province may accept the fawn.

This two-week-old pronghorn is lucky to be alive after his mother was hit by a car. Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement/Facebook

Pahl’s children named the baby boy Saamis.

And, he’s now settling in at Saskatoon’s city zoo.

“His legs are still a bit wobbly, but he is doing great and growing stronger every day,” Alberta Fish and Wildlife said. “The staff at the zoo have said they are lucky to have Saamis in their facility, and he will help diversify the genetics of their small pronghorn population.”

Pronghorns live in small populations in Canada confined to southern Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Once near extinction, conservation programs helped revive populations and there are perhaps 850,000 of them across North America.

Photos Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement/ Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo/Facebook

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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