An Iowa woman attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally survived an attack by an adult bison in Custer State Park on Wednesday evening. The name and condition of the 54-year old woman have not been released.
The Custer County Sheriff’s Office says a bystander’s video shows the incident, which began after several bikers had stopped a little after 6:30 pm to let a herd of bison cross Iron Mountain Road in the park. The injured woman was a passenger on a bike and when she got off, she began walking near a calf bison calf and an adult bison charged her, catching her belt and jeans on its horns and swinging her around violently before running away.
Custer State Park officials say the bison perceived the woman as a threat to the calf and acted to defend it. The park’s bison herd is one of its top attractions and biologists say the first 2 calves of the year were born earlier this week.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol says one of the Rally’s injury accidents Wednesday evening also involved a bison. In it, a 36-year old man had stopped his motorcycle on Highway 16A about 20 miles east of Custer just after 7:00 pm to let a herd of bison cross. When they did and he started to continue, one of the animals came back onto the highway and the rider lost control of his bike trying to miss the bison. He was thrown from the bike and sustained serious non-life threatening injuries. The Patrol says the man was wearing a helmet, which is not required in South Dakota.