A hiker has shared a video of herself being attacked by a bison, warning others to be more careful and give the animals plenty of space. Rebecca Clark was hiking alone in Caprock Canyons State Park when she passed too close to a group of the animals.
In the clip, which you can watch below, Clark speaks calmly to a small herd of bison as she approaches, explaining that she doesn't want to walk through the bushes. She seems to have passed without incident when one animal begins to snort and then charges, knocking her to the ground.
In a Q&A posted later, Clark explained that she is on the road to recovery after the incident. She also urged other hikers not to take the same risks around bison.
"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," she wrote. "I am posting to support safety while enjoying Texas State Parks."
Texas Parks and Wildlife asks visitors to "observe bison etiquette" at Caprock Canyons, and explains that they need a lot more personal space than a human does in order to feel safe and comfortable.
The organization recommends staying at least 50 yards away at all times, and recommends using your thumb to help gauge if you are at the right distance. If you hold your arm out and cover one eye, you should find that you can hide the bison behind your thumb. If not, you are too close and should back up.
Visitors are also advised to watch out for any changes in a bison's behavior. If it acts differently as a result of your presence, again, you are too close.
"Agitated or anxious bison will raise their tails up in a question mark," says TPW. "Other signs of agitation or disapproval are pawing the ground and lowering its head."
For more advice, see our guide how to avoid being gored by a bison.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.