The Energizer Bunny has nothing on a mule deer doe in the Northern Rockies.
A lone doe, outfitted with a GPS collar, just kept on going and going when the rest of the herd stopped during an annual migration from Wyoming and into Idaho. And she did so as wide-eyed researchers watched her movement. In all, the deer traveled 242 miles, believed to be the longest such confirmed migration for a deer on record.
“It’s really pretty impressive. For a lot of animal movements, we look at them on the map and think about the elevations, but this would be an all-day trip in a car,” Matt Kauffman, University of Wyoming researcher, told the Casper Star Tribune. “In a car you’re moving across paved roads with a combustion engine.”
What made the trek more remarkable was the intrigue and mystery involved. The doe began in western Wyoming and ended up in northeast Idaho. And that’s when the collar gave up the ghost. Its signal just plain stopped transmitting.
Two years later after capturing and collaring her the first time, biologists actually captured the same deer in western Wyoming.
If you’re wondering, the longest recorded migratory of a mule deer herd before now was about 150 miles.
(Photo source: Wyoming Migration Initiative)