Syracuse man dies after likely being gored by bison at Antelope Island

SYRACUSE — A Syracuse man died from injuries he sustained in what appears to be an incident with a bison on a trail at Antelope Island State Park Saturday morning.

a herd of sheep standing on top of a building: Bison get checked and vaccinated after the 32nd annual bison roundup at Antelope Island State Park on Antelope Island on Oct. 27, 2018. About 700 bison were moved from the island’s southern end to handling facilities at the northern end, where they’ll receive vaccinations and health screenings. © Qiling Wang, Deseret News Bison get checked and vaccinated after the 32nd annual bison roundup at Antelope Island State Park on Antelope Island on Oct. 27, 2018. About 700 bison were moved from the island’s southern end to handling facilities at the northern end, where they’ll receive vaccinations and health screenings.

“Two women were on the Lakeside Trail and heard an individual calling for help,” said Eugene Swalberg, public affairs coordinator for the Utah State Parks. “They found a 55-year-old man from Davis County who’d been injured, and they called 911.”

State parks personnel responded to the call, which came in around 10 a.m, and found a man about a mile from where he’d parked his car, and they suspect the man could have been gored by one of the island’s famous bison. The women and park rangers immediately began rendering first aid.

“He was certainly injured,” Swalberg said. “But there was no eyewitness, and we don’t know how long he’d been lying there. He certainly had injuries consistent with a goring, but it’s still under investigation, so we cannot definitively say that’s what happened.”

In addition to wounds that were “consistent with a goring,” the man had lacerations that also support being thrown by a bison.

“There was a hat near this individual and also some earbuds,” he said. “Was he running with earbuds and spooked a bison? That’s entirely possible. We just don’t know the circumstances, but he does have wounds and injuries consistent with a goring ... and maybe if he was thrown, lacerations from the rocks.”

He said the area where the man was found “is an area that’s certainly frequented by bison. It’s on the north end of the island, near the corrals and the administration building.” He said park employees called for a medical helicopter, and the man was flown to University of Utah Hospital in critical condition.

According to a family friend, the man, who ran regularly on Antelope Island, died Saturday night at the hospital. His name was not released.

Swalberg said that while investigators are still determining exactly what happened to the man, it’s always a good idea to remind those using state parks that they need to have “situational awareness,” especially where wildlife is concerned.

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