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Woman attacked by bison on Antelope Island

Posted at 9:51 PM, Sep 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-28 23:52:25-04

OGDEN, Utah — Kayleigh Davis was running on a trail in Antelope Island State Park Friday evening when a bison attacked her.

When news broke, Davis said many people online blamed her, but she was not antagonizing or even trying to approach the bison.

"I was kind of scared that people can approach them, and they don't get hurt and then I am actively avoiding it and I get hurt,” she told Fox 13 as she recovered at McKay-Dee Hospital.

The 22-year-old said she was getting out of the way of some bikers when the bison came at her.

"The four bikers pass me and then all of a sudden, I see the bison charging me,” she said.

She said she started running toward the lake, away from the bison, but she knew she couldn't outrun it.

"I saw him coming pretty fast, and I was like, 'I know I’m not going to get distance,' and I could see him,” Davis said.

That’s when she went airborne.

"While I was up in the air, I was like, 'Am I going to hit my head or my back? I don't know.' I was scared,” she said.

She stayed on the ground and waited.

“He was ... digging at the dirt like he's going to charge after me, but I stayed still and he stopped,” she said.

Davis suffered a compound ankle fracture and was gored in her thigh.

She knew to stay still because the man she was there on a date with had a similar encounter with a bison just months ago — on the same island.

"I knew, hearing my friend’s story, that I didn't want it to happen to me,” she said.

Kyler Bourgeous was also attacked by a bison at Antelope Island State Park in June.

He suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung and injuries to his internal organs.

"I am kind of laughing about it because when I think about it, I feel nauseous — it hurts so bad to see it happen to somebody knowing how much it hurts,” Bourgeous said.

Bourgeous and Davis met online and have recently started dating. They laugh about the whole thing — because it is very unlikely.

"It feels like it would be a one in a million chance,” Davis said.

It doesn’t seem like either of the two will be back to Antelope Island anytime soon.

"I don't know if I can do it again, go back out there knowing they apparently have it out for me,” Bourgeous said.

Davis said she knows it could have been worse, but suggests to others to stay as far away from bison as possible — even if it's half a mile away.

"Just turn around,” she said.