A Colorado teenager was hospitalized Saturday after being attacked by a bison and thrown in the air during a visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
The 17-year-old was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Bismarck. The National Park Service told NBC News that the teen was thrown about 6 feet in the air and gored in the right thigh after being struck in the back by the bison.
The teenager, who has asked not to be identified, was backpacking with a friend when the attack occurred.
“So I was hiking up the trail, got about a quarter of a mile and there was to my left, like the entire herd, and to my right there was one really big bison," the victim told NBC News. "And I give him enough space where I was walking around him. I was walking on the trail, and then all the sudden, I just kind of got this feeling that something was like chasing after me."
As the teen ran away, the bison struck, goring and tossing the victim in the air.
"So luckily I fell onto my backpack, which saved my life, honestly," the victim said. "If I didn't have that, I would have a lot more injured."
People rushed to the victim's aid and called 911.
The victim was released Monday, with the hospital arranging for a Teddy Roosevelt impersonator to come cheer up the teen. Parks officials also gave the victim a teddy bear dressed like Teddy Roosevelt to take home.