Shepherd gored by elk in Utah
MOAB, Utah — A wild bull elk gored a shepherd in the mountains in eastern Utah, puncturing one of the man's lungs, knocking him unconscious and forcing him to walk several miles for help.
Sheepherder Hugo Macha, 31, was recovering in the hospital two days after the rare attack in the La Sal Mountains, said Polly Hill, co-owner of the 1,000 sheep Macha tends.
“He was already worrying about his sheep,” Hill told The Salt Lake Tribune. “The doctor said he was lucky because the way the lung was punctured it kept it from collapsing. He might be able to come home Sunday. We will take care of him until he is back on his feet.”
Macha, who is from Peru, told rescuers that he'd been sitting on the ground and leaning against a tree Tuesday evening when the elk appeared and started heading toward him. He tried to get away, according to Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officer Dennis Shumway, but the animal ran him down, knocked him to the ground and gored him with its antlers.
When he came to, the elk was nowhere to be found.
Macha told officials he waited in hopes that he'd be found by hunters, and tried to call for help on his cellphone but wasn't getting service. Early the next day, he started a long walk to find a fellow shepherd about 5 miles away.
“This guy was a complete stud,” said conservation officer Jay Shirley, who was at the scene. “He was in a lot of pain. He couldn't even sit down because it hurt so much, and yet he walked that far. He hadn't had food or water and no sleep. He was amazing.”
Macha's friend ran to seek help from workers with the wildlife employees, who were nearby loading crates used to relocate wild goats, and began frantically speaking to them in Spanish.
With help from an officer who spoke the language, they learned the story and were able to find Macha.
Conservation officers put him on an IV, bandaged his wounds and arranged for a medical helicopter.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Legendary ‘Walking Dead’ unit deactivated by Marines
- Astronomers get look at birth of huge galaxy
- Bucks County Playhouse devotes year to budding lyricists
- Doctor’s license reinstated pending hearing in W.Va.
- Next hurdle for health care likely tax season
- Judge strikes down Texas abortion law
- Odds of ‘megadrought’ in Southwest rises to 50%, study says
- Retailers warned about software
- AFL-CIO’s Trumka urges action to push the political left to polls
- Prison term for Detroit porch gunman debated
- Half-ton alligator sets world record