Tourists at Custer State Park in South Dakota captured the shocking moment when a bison threw a woman back and forth, ultimately knocking her unconscious and tearing her pants off.
According to reports the woman is biker from Iowa. A crowd of onlookers had gathered by the side of the road to watch a herd of nearby bison. Among the herd were some calves and young animals. The woman stepped off of her bike and approached a buffalo calf. It is not clear what she intended to do, but suddenly a full-grown adult bison (perhaps the calf's mother or father, but this is only speculation) charged the woman.
In a stroke of mixed luck, the buffalo's horn missed her vitals but apparently got stuck in the woman's belt. Enraged, the animal panicked and shook its head in an attempt to free itself, which resulted in the woman being violently thrashed in the ditch. Luckily it was only a few moments before something in the woman's pants or belt gave way. She fell to the ground and the bison ran away from the road into the brush, still trailing the woman's pants from its horn. The woman was unconscious. Throughout the encounter you can hear the fear and concern in the voices of the people watching the horrifying moment.
Various onlookers cautiously approached to help the woman, one even removing his shirt to cover the woman. The other bison seem to grow agitated and begin to run the opposite direction but it is clear that no one feels safe.
Incredibly, the woman was not seriously injured. In that respect she is extremely lucky -- the bison can grow to a weight of 1000 pounds, and, unlike domestic cattle, is a wild animal animated by instinct. Had the horn been an inch above or below she could have been gored.
The moral cannot be obvious: do not approach bison. They are not there for your amusement.
They are beautiful to look at. But look from a distance. See the shocking encounter below: