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Utah Man Gored by Bison He Tried to Pet on Neighbor's Property: 'For Sure a Reality Check'

Halen Carbajal suffered liver laceration, a broken rib and a bruised lung last month

<p>Go Fund Me</p> Halan Carbajal poses in the hospital after being gored by a bison

Go Fund Me

Halan Carbajal poses in the hospital after being gored by a bison

A Utah man got an unexpected "reality check" after being gored by a bison he was trying to pet.

Halen Carbajal spent a full week in the hospital after he attempted to greet a bison in a neighbor's yard last month, according to CBS affiliate KUTV and The Salt Lake Tribune.

The incident took place when Carbajal — who described himself to KUTV as "definitely an idiot in this scenario" — and his girlfriend spotted the animal during an early Thanksgiving celebration. "I crossed through the fence. I started walking back near the fence. 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,' " he said of approaching the bison.

"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 pretty good," Carbajal recalled of the bison, which wound up dipping its head down with its horn entering the man. He added that he was then "flipped" by the animal.

<p>Getty</p> A bison appears in the Rocky Mountains

Getty

A bison appears in the Rocky Mountains

Related: 47-Year-Old Woman Gored by Bison in Yellowstone National Park Sustains ‘Significant Injuries’

Per the Tribune, Carbajal "was gored by the animal in his abdomen, causing an 8-inch laceration, a broken rib, a lacerated liver and a bruised lung." KUTV reported that "he was eventually airlifted to Utah Valley Hospital."

According to a GoFundMe set up his for medical expenses, Carbajal was brought from the emergency room in Teasdale to the ICU in Utah Valley, where he spent seven days in intensive care before heading home under the guidance of a "home health nurse."

As of Monday, organizer Emily Hansen has raised nearly $5,000 of a $20,000 goal.

"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 said to KUTV about attempting to pet the bison.

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Related: Yellowstone Visitor Seen Cornering Bison While Carrying a Young Child

He added, "You have to have a lot more reverence for big crazy beasts like that you know. You have to have a lot more reverence. There's admiration and then there's a level of respect you have to have with just keeping your distance."

Faith Heaton-Jolley, a spokesperson for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, told KUTV that there's a "common misconception" that bison are "domestic or friendly" because they may look like cows.

"They are wild animals," she said. "They do act unpredictably sometimes, and they can act aggressively if you get too close to them."

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