Charging bison injures hiker on Antelope Island State Park

Authorities say a 22-year-old woman trail running at Antelope Island State Park suffered a broken leg and a laceration on her other leg when she was charged by a bison.

The woman was on a trail and running with a companion when the incident occurred Friday evening in a remote area on the Lakeside trail, officials said. It’s not clear what prompted the bison to charge her.

The woman, whose identity wasn’t released, told authorities she was running and looked up to notice the bison coming toward her, according to a news release.

Parks Lt. Eric Stucki said the woman lay still after the bison threw her into the air and that the animal then nudged her with its nose before moving off. The woman was airlifted from the park to the hospital for treatment.

A 30-year-old man was also struck by a bison while trail running at the state park earlier this summer. He suffered lacerations, but didn’t have any broken bones. In March, another trailrunner escaped being hit by a bison when the animal charged him — and the encounter was caught on video.

Michael McKnight runs away from a charging bison on Antelope Island, March 1, 2019. (FOX 13)

Wildlife on Antelope Island include hundreds of bison. The state park is connected to the Great Salt Lake’s southeastern shore by a 7-mile-long causeway. Mule deer and pronghorn also live at the park.

The shrinking lake has in recent years turned the island into a peninsula and state officials intend to put up fencing to keep the bison and other wildlife from wandering across the dry lakebed to shore.

Park authorities urged visitors who encounter bison on trails to back away and return to where they came from, or to leave the trail and give the animal a wide berth when passing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.