A Utah resident, Halen Carbajal, suffered severe injuries after being gored by a bison last month. Carbajal, who admitted his actions were ill-advised, had approached the bison with the intention of petting it. The incident resulted in a lacerated liver and an 8-inch wound for Carbajal.
Carbajal had been returning from an early Thanksgiving celebration with his girlfriend when he noticed a herd of bison on a neighboring property. Overcome by curiosity, he decided to get a closer look at the animals. He crossed the fence separating him from the herd and began to approach one of the bison.
Carbajal recounted his experience to local news station KUTV, admitting that he had been foolish to approach the bison. He described how the bison had followed him to the fence, which he found intriguing. Despite the potential danger, Carbajal decided to pet the animal, a decision he quickly regretted when the bison attacked him.
The bison’s horn punctured Carbajal and flipped him over, but he managed to escape despite his injuries. He sustained an 8-inch gash on his stomach, a broken rib, a lacerated liver, and lung damage. A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist with his medical expenses.
Following the incident, Carbajal was airlifted to the ICU where he spent a week. He is now at home, recovering from his injuries. Prior to the incident, Carbajal had completed a term of service with the Utah Conservation Corps, a job that required him to be in good physical health.
Faith Heaton-Jolley, a spokesperson for the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, spoke to KUTV about the incident. She highlighted the common misconception that bison are domestic or friendly animals due to their resemblance to cows. In reality, bison are wild animals that can become aggressive.
Reflecting on the incident, Carbajal acknowledged his naivety and the need for greater respect for such powerful creatures. He expressed his newfound understanding of the potential danger posed by these “big crazy beasts.”