Bison are tough. Each one is a six foot wall of muscle, fur, and bone adding up to about a ton. They’re strong, shaggy beasts, and almost nothing can stop them, not even lightning.
Meet Sparky, a bison that was struck by lightning in 2013. Sparky lives at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa.
A few years ago, Karen Viste-Sparkman, a biologist with the United States Fish And Wildlife Service (USFWS) noticed a bison bleeding, standing apart from the herd. Upon closer inspection, she realized that he’d been struck by lightning. Viste-Sparkman and others kept track of him, watching as against all odds, the newly-named “Sparky” recovered from his injuries.
Sparky is now 11 and weighs 1,600 pounds, walking with a limp, according to an announcement made today by the USFWS. Here’s hoping lightning won’t strike the same bison twice!