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A Texas woman required a helicopter evacuation and a stay in a hospital after she was gored by a wild bison while hiking in the backcountry. But the attack has led to Internet fame—the woman uploaded a video of the incident to Tiktok last week, and thus far it has generated more than 2 million views.
Rebecca Clark was hiking in Caprock Canyons State Park in the southern part of the panhandle when she came across a group of bison standing near the trail. The POV video she posted of the incident last week shows her moving slowly past the bison as she offers commentary.
“I don’t want to deal with them,” she says as she edges by the animals, which appear to be within about 20 feet of the trail. “I just want to go by, come on, keep going…I didn’t want to go through the bushes again.”
Just as she passes the animals, one of them, a bull, turns its head, snorts, and begins to charge. Clark curses, turns, and begins to run, before the camera tumbles into a mesquite bush and Clark screams in pain.
In a follow-up video posted to TikTok last Friday, Clark said that she managed to get ahold of help by phone, and had laid in the bush for 50 minutes before rescue arrived. A helicopter collected her from the park, and she ended up in United Regional hospital in Wichita Falls.
While bison’s herbivorous habits and cattle-like appearance often lull hikers and park tourists into a sense of complacency, the animals can weigh up to a ton and regularly injure people who approach too close, including three Yellowstone visitors who suffered goring injuries in a single month last year. Texas state wildlife managers recommend that visitors stay at least 150 feet away from bison—much farther than Clark appears to be in her video. And with a maximum speed of about 35 miles per hour, it’s safe to say no human is going to outrun them anytime soon.
The animals in question are part of the 200-some-strong Texas State Bison Herd. According to Caprock State Park, like hikers, the bison use park roads to get around.
“Since this is their home, remember that bison have the right of way!” the park writes on its site.
Luckily, Clark escaped from her ordeal alive and without permanent injury: Aside from a “hole in [her] back and lots of stickers and thorns,” Clark says, she’s all right—and that she “still [loves] hiking at Caprock.” (By Adam Roy, Outsideonline)