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Alaska hiker recovering after bison attack in North Dakota

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WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) — An Alaska man is recovering after being attacked by a bison while hiking in western North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Park official Eileen Andes said the 65-year-old hiker encountered the large animal on a trail after taking photos of a sunset. He tried to walk around the bison but didn't provide a wide enough berth, the Minot Daily News ( ) reported.

The bison apparently threw the man into a bush, knocking him unconscious, Andes said. When the man regained consciousness, he was bleeding from a leg laceration but made his way to the trailhead. When he saw more bison, he climbed several feet up a butte.

"The guy kept yelling, 'help, help, and help,'" said Christopher Velazquez, one of three airmen from Minor Airforce Base who were camping nearby and heard the man's faint calls.

The airmen and another camper rushed to help when the bison moved to the back of the hill. Airman Jake Nixon said the hiker had stuffed his socks into his wound, but that the socks and his pants were covered in blood. Their fellow rescuer tied his shirt around the hiker's wound to stop the bleeding.

The hiker was treated at a hospital and released Saturday.

The airmen, who also included Justin Valentine, are members of the 705th Munitions Squadron at the base in Minot, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) northeast of the national park.

"We wanted to help because we had the ability to. When you hear a cry for help, you've got that on your mind 'what if that was you on the butte?" Valentine told the newspaper.

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