Yellowstone visitor fully recovered one year after close encounter with bison

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Posted by greywolf ( on 13:55:18 07/11/13

Ruffin Prevost CODY, WYO.

A year after he was seriously injured in a close encounter with a bison in Yellowstone National Park, a Massachusetts man has fully recovered from the traumatic experience that made international headlines.
Robert Dea, 59, of Newbury, Mass. had planned a two-week summer vacation to Yellowstone and a Montana guest ranch with his wife and their friend in June 2012. But he ended up spending eight days in the hospital instead, after being tossed around by a bothered bison.
A year after the incident, in which he suffered a torn groin, broken shoulder blades and several broken ribs, Dea reports that he is ¯pretty well back to my normal physical and mental state now.
I have no remaining pains or damage from this incident,Dea wrote last month in an email detailing his progress over the past year. ¯It is truly remarkable that I took such a hit, and was so severely injured in the moment, and yet survived without any permanent disabilities.
Initial press accounts of the incident were featured on the Drudge Report and other high-traffic websites, spawning a series of sensational stories and online comment threads that Dea, a technical writer, said were misinformed and hurtful.
As detailed in coverage of the incident from last summer, Dea faulted himself for not getting out of the animal s way. He had been viewing the bison through binoculars, and had a mistaken impression that staying put was the safest option as the animal approached.
Dea and his party had been driving near the Norris campground when they spotted a lone bison near a river. So they pulled over to watch, along with a group of about six others.
As the bison moved away from the river, it followed a path that led toward Dea, who knew that it was unwise to run from bears, so he didn t pull back. He had spent time around cattle and had even seen bison behind a fence in a different setting, and figured it was best to just stay put.
But just after the bison passed him, Dea recalls saying something like, ¯You be a good boy now,and looking away as he stood up from where he had been sitting on a log. That s when the bison wheeled around and butted Dea in the lower back, sending him flying at least 10 feet into the air. He landed on his left shoulder, suffering a torn groin, broken shoulder blades and several broken ribs.
Park rangers administered first aid and Dea was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Idaho Falls. He spent eight days in what he called ¯a pain-filled haze before moving to a hotel for three more days of recuperation. Insurance covered most of the bills, which he described as ¯enormous.
I still dearly love animals yes even bison and support efforts to clear a place for them to survive and prosper in their natural habitat without being hunted and hounded by human encroachment,Dea said last month.
Dea said he s happy to offer an update on his progress and to recall the incident as a reminder to park visitors about the dangers of getting too close to wildlife or allowing wildlife to get too close.
It was an intense experience, mainly a painful and terrible one, but I am thankful to have come through it so well, and thankful to the park staff, doctors, and others who helped me through it, he said.

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