Thursday, January 13, 2011
How Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake got its name
Posted by Birding is Fun!
The Utah State Park's brochure for Antelope Island states "John C. Fremont and Kit Carson made the first known Anglo exploration of Antelope Island in 1845, and named it after observing several pronghorn antelope grazing on the rangelands." The politically correct brochure doesn't mention that they also killed and probably ate several of the antelope. Another online source mentions a trapper, Osborne Russell, who made a journal entry that he observed buffalo and antelope on the island as far back as 1841. Click here for more fascinating history of Antelope Island.
How did these amazing creatures get onto this island? Can their genetics hold up with all that in-breeding? Well, it turns out that it isn't always an island. When water levels drop in the Great Salt Lake, it is actually becomes a peninsula. So, over time, all kinds of cool critters have made their way to the island.
While watching this troop of Pronghorn we got to see a pair of males tussle for a brief moment which was pretty neat.