Man who tried to pet a bison ends up hospitalized and 'banged-up'
Man who tried to pet a bison ends up hospitalized with a punctured stomach, lacerated liver, broken rib and ‘banged-up’ lung after wild beast attacked him and flipped him over with his horns
- A Utah man is recovering a bison gave him an eight-inch laceration after he attempted to pet it while returning home from a Thanksgiving party
A Utah man is recovering from a litany of serious injuries after he attempted to pet a bison while walking home from a family celebration just before Thanksgiving.
Halen Carbajal told KUTV that he suffered a liver laceration, broken rib and bruised lung following the encounter, which took place close to the town of Provo.
The 27-year-old said that the bison, which was behind a fence on a neighboring property, started following him after he got its attention.
‘He had followed me all the way over, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s pretty cool. I kind of did want to pet him, so I was just being naïve about the whole thing, so I did that, and yeah he just rocked me pretty good,’ Carbajal said from his hospital bed.
He went on to describe himself as ‘definitely the idiot’ in the scenario, adding that he should never have gone so close to the animal.
Utah man Halen Carbajal is recovering a bison gave him an eight-inch laceration after he attempted to pet it while returning home from a Thanksgiving party
‘I think he struck me and then lifted me, which would make sense why my rib was broken too,’ Carbajal said in describing the attack
Carbajal, shown here second from the right, just finished a season working with the Utah Conservation Corps, a group which works on various environmental programs across the state
In describing the attack, the victim said that the bison bowed its head and stuck his horn into him. ‘I think he struck me and then lifted me, which would make sense why my rib was broken too,’ Carbajal said.
‘I crawled. There was a fence with some pretty good gaps in it, so I squeezed through the lower ones. I don’t think he was really trying to attack me. I think he was just curious because he didn’t go after me after that,’ he said discussing his escape.
Carbajal said that he was in the hospital for seven days after the incident, which prompted friends to set up a GoFundMe page in order to help him to pay his medical bills.
‘Halen is in good spirits despite his situation and we’re all hoping for a smooth recovery. Anything to help with the emergency medical bills will be so appreciated,; the introduction to the crowdfunding page reads.
According to the page, Carbajal just finished a season working with the Utah Conservation Corps, a group which works on various environmental programs across the state. At the time of writing, the page has raised nearly $5,000.
‘It was for sure a reality check or recognizing my naivety and thinking it would be fine to try and touch one, and just realizing that you got to have a lot more reverence for big, crazy beasts like that… There’s admiration and then there’s a level of respect you have to have with just keeping your distance.’,’ Carbajal told KUTV.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesperson Faith Heaton-Jolley told KUTV that the public should be wary of bison’s calm demeanor.
As many as 60 million bison once roamed North America, moving in vast herds that were central to the culture and survival of numerous Native American groups
A pamphlet distributed by the National Park Service to people entering Yellowstone National Park warns visitors not to get too close to bison
‘There’s just this common misconception that because they kind of look like cows, people think they’re domestic or friendly. They are wild animals. They do act unpredictably sometimes, and they can act aggressively if you get too close to them,’ she said.
As many as 60 million bison once roamed North America, moving in vast herds that were central to the culture and survival of numerous Native American groups.
They were driven to the brink of extinction more than a century ago when hunters, U.S. troops and tourists shot them by the thousands to feed a growing commercial market that used bison parts in machinery, fertilizer and clothing.
By 1889, only a few hundred bison remained. Thanks to efforts from both state and federal governments, there are now more than 50,000 bison in the US.
The return of bison in some locations is considered a conservation success. But Haaland said they remain ‘functionally extinct’ and more work is needed to return the animals to tribal lands and restore the grasslands they depend on.
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