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Bison attacks woman taking photos of herd in South Dakota

A witness captured video that showed the moment a bison attacked a woman and swung her around violently.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Portrait of a Buffalo at Custer State Park, South Dakota.

A woman visiting South Dakota was attacked by a bison after she reportedly got too close to a calf, but she escaped serious injuries because her pants fell off, according to authorities. 

Videos from the incident on Wednesday showed a group of motorcyclists stopped in Custer State Park because a group of bison were blocking the road. A passenger on one of the motorcycles can be seen in several videos posted on social media walking into the grass to take pictures of the bison close-up. 

This comes as tens of thousands of bikers have traveled to South Dakota for the massive annual motorcycle rally in the small town of Sturgis. 

Witnesses said the woman was attempting to approach a calf when an adult bison charged at her, catching its horn on the woman's belt and jeans. 

Dramatic video of the encounter, posted online by witness Jo Reed, shows the woman being swung around violently until her pants fell off.  

Custer County Sheriff Marty Mechaley told the Custer County Chronicle the woman was "apparently saved when her pants came off and she fell to the ground unconscious." At that point, the sheriff said the attacking animal ran off with the rest of the herd.  

Read wrote in her post that there were "herds and herds" of bison "everywhere" they went that day. 

“We came around a curve just behind a group of motorcyclists and there was a herd standing in the middle of the road, most noticeably a cow (female) and her calf which was nursing,” Reed wrote on Facebook. “Initially one woman got off her bike and approached the herd and then more followed. It was a tense moment.”

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The Custer County Sheriff's Office said Thursday the 54-year-old Iowa woman who was attacked was taken to the hospital but her injuries were not considered to be serious.