Larger Than Life Wildlife Sculptures | Leader, SK
Explore Leader’s famous wildlife sculptures. Created by the late Ralph Berg of Cabri, SK and Grant McLaughlin of Moose Jaw, SK, these larger than life sculptures depict several of the area’s amazing animal inhabitants. Our wildlife sculptures are open and accessible year-round, so come anytime.
Mule Deer in Saskatchewan are found in rough, open, semi-arid country, and tend to form into herds, particularly in winter. Mule Deer are characterized by a jumping gait, large mule-like ears, and a white rump with a short black tail. The greatest percentage of the Mule Deer’s food is twigs, leaves and buds of shrubs and trees.
Leader and area is the most northerly range of the Red-headed Woodpecker. The adults are best identified by their bright red head, neck and throat, and can be found on both farmland and along the South Saskatchewan River. The Red-headed Woodpecker will forage on both tree trunks and the ground for insects and berries.
WESTERN MEADOWLARK, PRAIRIE RATTLESNAKE & PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS – BY RALPH BERG 1995
The Western Meadowlark is best known by its song, which is familiar to almost everyone. It arrives in Saskatchewan the last week of March and remains until October. The Meadowlark is typically a prairie bird that builds its nest on the ground and spends most of its time close to the nest. Three quarters of the Western Meadowlark’s food consists of insects, including beetles, crickets, grasshoppers and caterpillars and a quarter of their diet is seeds, especially grain.
The Prairie Rattlesnake is restricted to two areas of Saskatchewan – the Val Marie and Leader regions. Primarily, they are found within 15 km on the north and south side of the South Saskatchewan River, and west of Leader. The rattle is composed of interlocking segments which are loosely fit together so that when the tail is vibrated, they produce a sharp buzzing sound. The main prey of rattlesnakes are small mammals – mice, rats, ground squirrels, gophers and rabbits. The rattlesnake will usually retreat to shelter at any sign of danger. If a rattlesnake is encountered, slowly move away and the snake will not harm you.
The Long-billed Curlew is the largest North American member of the sandpiper family. Its long bill is used for probing into dirt and mud for insects to eat. The females are larger than the males. Both partners will incubate the eggs in a nest made from a scrape on the ground. The female often leaves once the babies are hatched, leaving dad to protect the clutch.
The Loggerhead Shrike is a western subspecies of predatory songbird listed as threatened in Canada. It is a robin-sized passerine with a robust hooked bill, black face mask, white under parts, and black wings with a prominent white wing patch.
Loggerhead Shrikes hunt from perches in open country and prefer a combination of pasture or other grassland with scattered low trees and shrubs. They display an unusual habit of impaling their prey on twigs or thorns (mostly insects but occasionally small birds or mice).
The Ferruginous Hawk is the largest hawk in North America, with the female being one-third larger than the male. Ferruginous Hawks live in sparsely treed grassland habitat in Southern Saskatchewan during the summer months. Prey consists mainly of ground squirrels or gophers. Their most successful hunting technique is a long low flight, close to the ground.
Bobcats are solitary mammals that make their territory where food is abundant. They live mainly in wooded areas making one main den and several shelters under fallen trees, hollow logs and bushes. They mark their territory by scent and claw markings. Bobcats are excellent climbers and swim when necessary. They live off small rodents such as mice, fish, birds, gophers, rabbits and small deer.
Burrowing Owls are comical little birds that generally look like short, fat owls on stilts. These owls live in a burrow in the ground. They are active during the day, and prefer to eat insects and small rodents. In case of threat, the young birds retreat to the back of the burrow and make sounds remarkably like a rattlesnake.
Burrowing Owls are recognized by the International Authorities as an “Endangered Species”.
Lake Sturgeon are one of the largest freshwater fish in North America and may reach a length of 2.5 meters (8 feet) and weigh more than 140 kg (300 Ibs). These fish have been known to live more than 150 years. They are also slow growing, weighing less than 5 kg at age 20.
Sturgeon are found in the South Saskatchewan River north of Leader; however, all sturgeon caught must be released.
The sturgeon in this sculpture is depicted as you would see it looking through water.
The name Kangaroo Rat comes from its kangaroo-like large hind legs, and the name rat is associated with its long tail. They are known for their jumping ability, and can hop a distance of 8 feet in a single leap.
The Ord’s Kangaroo Rat lives in sandy soils where it burrows its den. The sandy habitats of southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta are the only place in Canada that offer a home to this little nocturnal creature.
Leader is the most northerly point that the Ord’s Kangaroo Rat has been found, and they are now becoming an endangered species.