Before losing consciousness, a 65-year-old Juneau man remembers taking photos of a bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park before the animal turned toward him, charged.
According to a park news release, Michael Turk took a late evening hike on the Buckhorn Trail in the park’s north unit on June 30. Turk planned to take photos of the sunset.
Park officials said he gave a bison he encountered a wide berth on his way to the photo location. On his way back to a campground, Turk stopped to photograph another bison, which then charged him.
He woke with a large cut on his left inner thigh and other cuts and bruises. The park said he was able to hike to the trailhead where he saw a third bison. He climbed uphill and called for help.
Seven campers responded to Turk’s calls. When they arrived at the trailhead, they saw a bison between them and Turk who was about 50 yards away. The campers couldn’t scare the bison away until one person fired a handgun into the ground. That convinced the animal to leave.
The campers helped Turk to the trailhead, dressed his wound and drove him toward the park entrance. An ambulance took him to a hospital where he was treated and released.
[Local News Story]
Of course, it’s illegal to fire a weapon in a national park, so the rescuer who fired a shot will no doubt be fined. No good deed goes unpunished, my friends.