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Critters


As desolate as the canyon may seem, a lot of animals live there. While most I've seen have either been too quick for my camera, or I saw them in bad lighting conditions, I have been lucky a few times.

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Grand Canyon Rattlesnake. Species unique to the Grand Canyon A Grand Canyon Rattlesnake, under some sagebrush beside the Tonto Trail.
Smaller and more docile than Diamondbacks or Timber Rattlers, this species only lives in the Grand Canyon. Note the pinkish skin color, easily blending in with the dirt of the Tonto Platform. They're shy, and pretty easy to miss. I didn't see this one until I was almost on top of it.
Mule deer near Indian Gardens after a snowfall Mule deer near Indian Garden, just after a snowfall.
Indian Garden has perennial water and lush plant life, and is very popular with the deer. Unfortunately, Indian Garden is also a camping area, and the easiest one in the Canyon to hike to at that. Some campers and dayhikers deliberately feed the deer, and/or leave garbage behind which the deer eat. So deer have been found starved to death, with their stomachs full of undigestible human refuse. And sometimes, the park rangers shoot deer who are obviously suffering.
lizard I don't know what these little lizards are called, but they're all over the canyon. You'll often see them darting in front of you when you're hiking. They're pretty easily startled, and this one jumped as soon as my shutter clicked.

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