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In a US nature reserve, a bison attacked a British teenage girl, knocking her leg 15 feet into the air, leaving her partially paralyzed.

Amelia Dean’s parents say it’s a “miracle” that she’s still alive after encountering North America’s largest mammal — weighing close to a ton — while hiking in Custer State Park in South Dakota.

The 19-year-old, who was due to start studying at the University of Edinburgh in September, was hospitalized and left with serious injuries on the second day of a month-long road trip across the United States. During the attack, her femoral artery was severed.

On June 16, Ms. Dean was hiking with a dog with a friend and was approaching the end of the trail when she encountered a large male bison who was about 300 feet away when it suddenly charged towards her, she recalled. .

The teenager was “stunned”, the bison stopped directly in front of her, and the two stared at each other for a moment, then “rushed up, devoured her left thigh with its horns, and threw her head around. According to her 10 to 15 feet in the air, parents Matthew and Jacqueline Dean said.

After she hit the ground, Ms Dean found herself “trapped, unable to move her bleeding leg, the bison roaring directly at her, his feet on her head”, where he remained for a while , until her friend was able to lead the animal away, her parents wrote in an article GoFundMe appeal.

“I remember feeling pressure in my hips. My hips were pushed back and I remember being in the air,” Ms Dean told Local broadcaster KOTA-TV From her hospital bed in Rapid City, she had been there for seven weeks.

“The bison got stuck and its hooves were on top of my head…it’s a miracle I even survived until the ambulance got there, not to mention my life and my leg. A sufficiently surreal experience, not to mention that we weren’t doing anything really worthwhile. We were just walking in the park.”

Custer State Park is home to more than a thousand bison that were hunted to near extinction in the 1800s

(David McNew/Getty Images)

When the bison’s horn pierced her leg, it tore her femoral artery and caused severe damage to part of her sciatic nerve, her parents said, adding: “She should have been two to two after cutting the artery. Bleeding in eight minutes and an ambulance in less than 20 minutes. It’s a miracle she’s alive today.”

Hospital staff “did everything they could to save Mia’s life and leg at this time” but she “still suffers from severe nerve pain, numbness and allergies, paralysis and limited mobility below the knee, without a walker. Couldn’t walk and only managed about 20 yards,” they said.

Warning that “Mia will need at least one surgery to have a chance of returning to full movement” – which her current hospital cannot implement – her parents are seeking financial help so their daughter can be evaluated by a neurologist from New York Mayo Clinic, her insurance doesn’t cover it.

“This is probably Mia’s best chance to regain control of her foot, time is running out,” they said, adding that the initial test alone cost around $8,000 (£6,500).

The couple, from Brockham, Surrey, said they “just want her to be able to walk and dance again and live a fulfilling life without long-term chronic pain”.

Their daughter said she hopes her accident doesn’t stop people from traveling, telling KOTA-TV: “Travel, explore and have fun. It’s a weird accident. Hopefully it doesn’t happen every time someone walks in the park. situation.”

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