Many have spotted a rarity here in Southern Manitoba, a one in a million sighting of a pronghorn.
Pronghorns are ungulates (mammals with hooves) that spread across Western and Central North America. Here in Canada, their primary range is southwestern Saskatchewan, southeastern Alberta, and occasionally southwestern Manitoba.
The first sightings of a potentially individual male were in mid-June by Kaleida south of Manitou, the latest sightings were in the same area as of September fifth.
Although not confirmed as the same individual a pronghorn was also spotted north of Winkler.
According to Derek Bobbie Conservation Officer and Manitou District Supervisor, when speaking to farmers in the area, it's been over a hundred years since the last pronghorn sighting in the region.
With how rare these creatures are in Manitoba, Bobbie says if someone is found hunting one, they could face hefty consequences.
"The pronghorn in Manitoba is a protected species, and it's considered extirpated from the province. There's no hunting season for pronghorn in Manitoba, and they're protected from all hunters including our indigenous peoples. No one is allowed to harvest them here."
If an individual is found hunting this species, Bobbie says they're hunting privileges will be suspended for the year and receive a $672 fine.
"Sometimes we'll send people directly to the judge. For me, because of the rarity of this animal in the province, I'd probably rather have that person go straight to court," says Bobbie. "To me, it's a significant thing to see that animal in this particular area."
Bobbie encourages residents if they are taking pictures of the animal to remember to give it space, as approaching the pronghorn could cause it unneeded stress.