Man gored by bison sees date undergo same fate months later

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A bison walks in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, U.S. on August 10, 2011Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
A bison seen in Yellowstone National Park

A man who was gored by a bison in June took a date back to the same place - only for her also to be attacked.

Kyler Bourgeous brought Kayleigh Davis to the same trail at a state park in Utah with plans to watch the sunset.

But when Ms Davis ran a little ahead, she ended up alone with a bison who charged and flipped her into the air.

She sustained a broken ankle from the goring and a leg wound. In the earlier attack he had suffered a cracked rib and collapsed lung.

Ms Davis has a cast on her right ankle and received stitches for the wound in her left thigh. She was released from hospital on Monday.

The attack happened on an established trail in Antelope Island State Park.

Witnesses reported seeing a bison strike Ms Davis with its head, "lifting her off the ground".

The 22-year-old was airlifted to hospital in Ogden, Utah.

Ms Davis told the BBC she had run ahead of Mr Bourgeous on the trail when she saw the bison. She passed it once, before deciding to turn around and rejoin Mr Bourgeous.

"I wasn't comfortable standing at the mile marker waiting for him, and I didn't know how comfortable he would be seeing [the bison] too, so I turned back and passed the bison again, giving it as much space as possible."

But when she was on her way back, four cyclists happened to come down the trail and "spooked" it.

The bison charged her and she began running away.

"I looked over my shoulder, seeing it get closer - and I looked again and it was pretty much right behind me. Right as I saw it, I flew up in the air 15ft (4.5m)," Ms Davis says.

She landed on her back and lay completely still - remembering what happened to Mr Bourgeous - as the bison sniffed at her.

Eventually, it wandered far enough away for Mr Bourgeous and the other witnesses on the trail to help her.

In hospital, she learned that that the bison's horn had gone through her ankle.

Image source, GoFundMe/Kyler Bourgeous
Image caption,
Kyler Bourgeous was gored by a bison in June

Mr Bourgeous, 30, faced a similar situation when he was gored, months earlier. He had reached the summit of the park's highest point - a familiar trail for him - when he saw two bison as he came over the ridge.

"I couldn't see them until I was too close to them," Mr Bourgeous told the BBC. "I turned around immediately and only got a few steps away before one of them charged me."

The bison's horns gored his hip and armpit, fracturing a rib which then collapsed his lung. The animal then trampled him and kicked his head.

Mr Bourgeous had to use a drain in his hip for several weeks because the goring had left an internal hole. He says his ribs still hurt when he coughs, but he has mostly recovered.

He says there is "something special" about the beauty of Antelope Island park, where he has been hiking since his childhood, but that the sight of bison now makes him anxious.

"My fear level is high enough that I don't know when I'll end up on a trail out there," Mr Bourgeous says.

Ms Davis also says she has been having nightmares about the attack in the days since, but otherwise feels "pretty happy and positive" and wants to get outside again soon.

She adds that she has talked with a park ranger about possibly volunteering at the visitors centre, but "it might take a minute" before she's fully ready for that.

Media caption,

Bison charges at nine-year-old girl at Yellowstone National Park

As for their next venture outdoors together?

"Not Yellowstone!" Mr Bourgeous answers with a laugh.