Susan: 2; Gate: 1. I have conquered the gate! Tonight I successfully closed it twice even with a light wind blowing and the distraction of new (to me) exotic animals across the road.
That's right, as the gate was closing, across the road was a herd of about 15 large, dark-brown exotic animals with horns that curved over their backs. These were much bigger than the Springbok antelope I normally see. Into the 5er I went to check my exotic animal brochure. (Yes there really is such a thing, published by the Kerrville, Texas Convention & Visitors Bureau.)
There it was on the second to the last page: Sable antelope (Hippotragus niger). Introduced from Africa. Chestnut brown to brownish-black. Mane from neck to shoulders. Underside of body and narrow thigh band white. Mask pattern. Female: 190-230 lbs. Male: 200-270 lbs.
Excitement courses through my body whenever I see majestic animals. Tonight was a great gate-closing moment!
For those of you not familiar with why there are exotic animals in Texas, I refer you to a 60 Minutes news story from January 2012: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7396832n on the exotic game ranches of Texas. The video is about 14 minutes long.
The brochure "Exotic & Native Animals of the Texas Hill Country" by the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau states:
Exotic game animals were introduced to the Texas Hill Country over sixty years ago. Due to the efforts of the Hill Country game ranchers and their diligent wildlife management practices, the Texas Hill Country has vast herds of some species that are now endangered and even extinct in their country of origin. Today in this area, there are more than 100,000 exotic game animals from over 45 different species.Also see my previous post RV + River + Ranch = Roaming about our tour at YO Ranch.
Time for sleep. Getting up early to go to Carrizo Springs to do laundry and investigate the town. Bob will hold down the