‘Naive’ bloke tries to pet ‘big crazy beast’ bison – but gets gored in horror attack


A ‘naive’ bloke who was brutally gored by a bison he tried to pet has admitted it was an idiotic move..

Halen Carbajal was left with an eight-inch gash to his stomach, a broken rib, a lacerated liver and a banged-up lung, according to a GoFundMe page created to raise $20,000 (£15,800) for his medical bills. The Utah man was severely injured during the shocking attack which took place on his way home from an early Thanksgiving with his girlfriend.

Carabajal noticed the herd of bison on a neighbour’s property and decided to get a closer look. “I was definitely an idiot in this scenario. I crossed through the fence. I started walking back near the fence,” Carbajal explained to KUTV.

“By the time I got back to the fence, he had followed me all the way over, and I was like ‘oh that’s pretty cool’.

Halen Carbajal was severely injured during the attack (Image: GoFundMe)
Halen Carbajal was severely injured during the attack (Image: GoFundMe)

“I kind of did want to pet him, so I was just being naïve about the whole thing, so I did that, and yeah he just rocked me.”

He told the station about the moment when the creature lowered its head just before its horn pierced him and sent him flying.

Despite being seriously injured, he managed to make a swift getaway.

Carbajal was airlifted to the ICU where he spent a week in the hospital before being discharged, and is now at home recovering.

Carbajal decided to get a closer look at the herd of bison on a neighbour’s property (Image: GoFundMe)
Carbajal decided to get a closer look at the herd of bison on a neighbour’s property (Image: GoFundMe)

“Halen is one of the best and most selfless people I know,” the fundraiser states.

“He just finished a season working with the Utah Conservation Corps and he relies on his physical health for the kinds of work he does.”

According to Faith Heaton-Jolley, a representative from the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, many people mistake bison for cows due to their similar appearance.

Halen Carbajal (second from right) recently finished his term of service with Utah Conservation Corps (Image: Utah Conservation Corps)
Halen Carbajal (second from right) recently finished his term of service with Utah Conservation Corps (Image: Utah Conservation Corps)

However, it’s important to remember that bison are actually wild animals and can be dangerous if provoked.

“It was for sure a reality check or recognizing my naivety and thinking it would be fine to try and touch one, and just realizing that you got to have a lot more reverence for big crazy beasts like that,” Carbajal told the station.

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This article by Joe Faretra was first published by The Daily Star on 4 December 2023. Lead Image: Halen Carbajal was left with a whole host of injuries after he made the ‘idiotic’ decision to pet a bison.





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