Bison attack man who jumped fence in restricted area at Land Between the Lakes park
A buffalo calf roams among the herd at the South Bison Range at Land Between the Lakes in Tennessee on Memorial Day weekend 2016. Chris Smith / The Leaf-Chronicle
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — A man was injured by bison at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area after climbing a fence inside a restricted area.
It happened July 4 at the South Bison Range in the park located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, authorities say.
"He climbed the fence and walked over to a group of bison, a pretty large group," of seven or eight, said Land Between the Lakes spokesman Chris Joyner. "According to a witness, it appeared he was going to touch one. He got to within 5 to 10 feet and at least one charged him."
Staff and passers-by helped the man after he made it back to the fence and collapse. A bystander broke the gate to get him out, and they began giving him first aid until help could arrive.
The 37-year-old man was treated by Stewart County Emergency Medical Services and transported by helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville where he was in stable condition Friday. His name was not released, Joyner said.
“We continue to stress to the public that bison and elk are wild animals," said Curtis Fowler, wildlife technician at Land Between the Lakes. “Bison will aggressively protect their calves by confronting any perceived threat.Their sharp horns and hooves are unforgiving, and they can react surprisingly fast.”
There are two bison enclosures at Land Between the Lakes.The South Bison Range offers limited viewing from the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway.The Elk and Bison Prairie offers an opportunity to drive through and observe animals in their native habitat from the safety of their vehicle.