A farmer is lucky to be alive after being gored by his herd of 300 buffalo in a terrifying attack on his farm.
Steven Mitchell, 30, was dragged 50m through a field and left with horrific wounds to his lower body following the stampede.
Speaking from his hospital bed ahead of emergency surgery, he said: “I blame myself for what happened, as I should not have turned my back on the herd – I’m lucky to be alive.”
Mr Mitchell, who runs Puddledub Buffalo Farm in Fife, was taking part in a council photoshoot for his local art gallery when the animals turned on him.
“I was kneeling down in front of a puddle with the buffalo behind me in the background,” he said.
“One of the cows who was behind had been freshly calfed. I didn’t see her coming. She charged out and bowled me over.
“She made a kind of war cry and when they do that, they all come charging over as they believe they are under threat.
“Next thing, I was stuck in the middle of them. I was being tossed about and I didn’t know how I was going to get out.”
Mr Mitchell believes his life was saved after one of the buffalo inadvertently hooked his belt with its horn and split from the rest of the herd.
“I was dangling underneath it, being dragged by my belt,” he said. “The bull didn’t like me being there so it ran out of the group and tried to get me off.”
He was dragged through a mud-filled pond, kicked and bruised. Eventually, he managed to free himself from the buffalo and rolled behind a pick-up truck that was parked nearby.
The horrific attack left him with a gaping wound in the back of right leg, behind his knee, a gored posterior and thigh.
“The doctors were astonished that there was no damage to any tendons. They should be able to stitch me up and I expect to make a full recovery,” said Mr Mitchell.
“With all the rain we have been having of late, the ground was really soft, so there was a bit of give.
“I didn’t think I was going to die, but it was a pretty scary rollercoaster.”
It was not the first “near miss” Mr Mitchell has experienced while working with buffalo.
He once crashed a 4×4 car into another being driven by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay while filming an episode of his Channel 4 show The F Word.
For more on this topic
Philip Case on G+