MNN Galleries

Carrizo Plain: Exploring 'the Serengeti of the West'

San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel

Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch

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Stretching out

Visiting the Carrizo Plain National Monument in the spring gives visitors a chance to revel in the cuteness of a new generation of wildlife. Baby San Joaquin antelope ground squirrels can be seen playing and scurrying around their burrows or stretching out like the one pictured. Fledgling birds, coyote pups, deer and elk fawns and many other newborns can be spotted throughout the spring and summer. It is also a time to see the newest generation of a species that was once common but then disappeared, to be reintroduced to the plain in 1990. Click through to find out which iconic western species once again calls the Carrizo home.