Last Wednesday, a bull elk gored Hugo Macha, a 31 year old sheepherder in the mountains east of Moab, Utah.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Macha was sitting with his back against a tree around 6 p.m. when a bull elk approached him. When Macha thought the elk was getting too close, he got up to move, but the bull ran him down, puncturing the man’s lung with its antlers and knocking him unconscious.
When Macha came to, he hoped to find a nearby group of hunters or use a cell phone to summon help, but neither plan panned out, so he hiked five miles to a fellow sheepherder. Macha’s friend found Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) staffers releasing mountain goats in the area and with the help of a Spanish-speaking officer, was able to explain Macha’s situation.
“He walked up to meet us and his shirt was soaked in blood and it was down his one pant leg,” DWR conservation officer Dennis Shumway said. “He lifted up his shirt and there was fatty tissue hanging out of this wound on his upper right back.”
Macha was put on an IV, given oxygen and bandaged and eventually flown by helicopter to a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado where his is recovering.