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Still Standing

January 29, 2016

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Photo Credit: ©Karen Viste-Sparkman/USFWS

This is Sparky. He's 11 years old, lives on the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa, and, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's blog, in 2013 he was struck by lightning.

Sparky's injury was first spotted by USFWS wildlife biologist Karen Viste-Sparkman, who checks up regularly on the refuge's bison. At first, she thought the wound might have been from a fight with another bull—male bison do fight during mating season—but upon closer inspection, she told the blog, she recognized burns and that he was missing hair on his hump and hind leg.

At the time, experts didn't expect Sparky to live long. Yet he has defied the odds. Though a bit thinner than his peers, he's still standing years later.

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