Florida’s state parks are a haven for all sorts of wildlife — roseate spoonbills, bats and black bears, to name a few. But only Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park can claim to have a herd of bison.
Being known as the home of buffalo that roam has been a big tourist draw for the park south of Gainesville. But the herd has also become a headache for state park officials.
The bison break through fences, cross highways and wander in the suburbs. They’ve blocked hiking paths, charged rangers, scared tourists. One woman reported being trapped in a felled tree, where she feared being trampled. Instead she wound up "covered with — as politely as I can put this — buffalo snot."
…but Tonja Walker, who lives in Ocala, said that despite her ordeal, she doesn’t want the herd thinned. The whole time she was surrounded by smelly beasts and being painted with mucus, she said, her one thought was, ” I am going to die today, but isn’t this awesome?”