28 April 2016

Bison s/p lightning strike

While doing a survey of bison on the refuge in late July 2013, Wildlife Biologist Karen Viste-Sparkman noticed a bull standing by himself. On closer inspection, it was clear that he had been struck by lightning and burned over a large area of his body. “Sparky” was thin after the strike and wasn't expected to live long. Since a lightning strike is something that could happen to wild bison anywhere, the refuge let nature take its course. But two years later, Sparky is going strong!

Sparky is just one of the bison that call Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge home. The refuge was established to protect, restore, reconstruct and manage the diverse native ecosystems of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna and sedge meadow.
The rest of the story is at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.   Photo credit Karen Viste-Sparkman/USFWS.


  1. Poor Sparky, I'll bet that hurt.

  2. hi,
    I've always had a fascination with fractal Lichtenberg figure scarring from lightning strikes, to the extent that if I was unlucky enough to get one I'd get it tattooed. Finding a fulgurite is also on my find list.
    cheers another phil

    1. http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-lichtenberg-figure.html


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