Texas hiker Rebecca Clark learned about bison the hard way (and lived to tell about it) when she thought she could speak softly while walking behind the wild creatures, camera in hand. At first the trio, in Caprock Canyons State Park, seemed like they didn't mind (unless you notice their tails whipping back and forth), but then, surprise! Growling ensued before one finally charged her.
"Oh God!" she screamed, and from the camera's perspective, we see her land in a mesquite bush (video below).
"He rammed my back, gored me and threw me into a mesquite bush where I laid for 50 minutes until help arrived," she later explained on TikTok. But lucky for her, all she got was a "hole in my back and lots of stickers and thorns."
Phone service was weak, but Clark managed to contact friends and family, she said. Eventually, help arrived and she was flown to a hospital for treatment.
Some pointed out that Clark was too close and that the bison that rammed her, docile as it may have looked, was displaying its displeasure with its tail movements.
It may seem subtle, but the tail is one way that bison can tell people — and other animals — to go away or else, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
"Agitated or anxious bison will raise their tails up in a question mark. Other signs of agitation or disapproval are pawing the ground and lowering its head," TPWD says. "In bison culture, a head-on gaze can communicate a threat or just simply rude behavior, especially to dominant males. If you see any of these behaviors, leave the area."
Bison prefer to keep people at a distance and experts recommend staying at least 50 yards away, if possible.
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