A Texas woman by the name of Rebecca Clark has shared a video of herself being charged by a bison in Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, located in Quitaque, Texas.
About 100 miles southeast of Amarillo, it lies within Briscoe County and is home to the Texas State Bison Herd. With their numbers greatly diminished by 1878, the southern bison herd was resuscitated with the rescue of a handful of orphaned calves by Charles and Maryann Goodnight. It’s said that the descendants of those animals now constitute the herd at Caprock.
Park Goers and Wildlife
As the delicate balance between park-goers and wildlife continues to play out in real-time, there is no shortage of still shots and videos of people lacking common sense.
Everyone has got to get a selfie with a washed-up dolphin or a stray bear cub. While Clark’s literal run-in with a huffy bison didn’t stem from something as cliched as that, the encounter was the result of a lack of patience and an unwillingness to provide the animal with a wider berth.
Regardless, she was able to capture footage of the ill-tempered bovidae as it decided to charge. Viewers are thankfully spared her being gored and flipped through the air.
TikToker Gored by Bison
During the brief TikTok video, Clark can be heard saying, “There you go. Keep going. I don’t want to deal with them. I just want to go by. Come on, keep going. I just want to get by, ‘kay? Thank you, I appreciate it.
I didn’t want to go through the bushes again,” as they slowly cross the road in front of her. However, she never stops to watch them from a safe distance to ensure they’re well past her and she’s out of their line of vision. Instead, she attempts to skirt behind them as they go. Understandable, perhaps.
A good idea? Not so much. Bison are known for their weak eyesight and can spook easily.
Let the Mayhem Begin
It’s not but a second or two after she utters the word “again” that the mayhem begins. One bison, in particular, becomes aware of her presence and is instantly cranky.
As it begins to gallop toward Clark, you can hear her startled voice exclaim, “Oh no. Oh Sh%t!” as she screams and turns to run — but there’s nowhere to go, and bison can outrun humans.
As the panic increases in her voice, viewers hear her shriek, “Oh, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” repeatedly as she appears to careen into a thorny mesquite bush before the video cuts out.
Lived to Tell the Tale
Clark miraculously lived to tell the tale explained in a follow-up video that the bison rammed her from behind, gored her, and indeed tossed her into a mesquite bush.
There she lay for 50 minutes until help finally arrived. Flown by helicopter to United Regional Healthcare Hospital in Wichita Falls, she ended up with a hole in her back where she was hit.
On the road to recovery, she added that she’d started a Creator Fund to help cover her medical bills. Flight for Life rides aren’t cheap.
Bison Rule of Thumb
Chron.com also covered the story, and they included the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Rule of Thumb for bison encounters.
If there’s only one thing you take away from this story, let it be this: “Stretch your arm out away from your face and give bison a thumbs up!
Now, close one eye. Can you cover the bison with your thumb? If not, you’re too close!” Happy trails!
Solo hiking at Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway in Texas. I was charged and gored by a bison because I was to CLOSE to be passing them on a trailway They are beautiful creatures protected by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) and are a part of the Texas State Bison Restoration Project where the park has restored the historic Charles Goodnight Bison herd (The Official Texas State Bison Herd) to a portion of its former range in the park. I am posting to support safety while enjoying Texas State Parks #TPWD #bisonetiquette101 #hikingsafety #llbean #chaos #rei
This article by Rebecca West was first published by The Animal Rescue Site.
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