WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE (KSWO) - A woman who recorded a video that went viral of a man who got dangerously close to a buffalo at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife refuge is speaking out about what she saw. Daneila Zyks and her husband were showing a friend around the refuge for the first time when they went to the Holy City and saw a man squatting feet away from a buffalo.
"I figured the buffalo was about to charge and I thought we were about to do something about it," Zyks said.
She told her friend and husband to call 911 and then she pulled out her phone and started recording because she felt there was nothing else they could do at that moment.
"Whether we would've honked, yelled, or told him to get away, he was going to get charged," she said.
David Farmer, the Deputy Refuge Manager said the man is lucky to walk away from a situation like that. He recommends that people stay at least 25 yards from Buffalo.
"If it appears to be acting differently because you're near it, that means you're too close," Farmer said. If you start asking yourself, 'Am I too close?' You're probably too close."
Farmer said thankfully they haven't had any major incidents with buffalo in a while. He said they do not recommend ever getting that close to Buffalo.
"They are very, very wild animals," he said. "They may look tame, they may look domesticated, but they are very wild. They are three times faster than the average person and they have great hearing and a great sense of smell and poor vision so it does allow people to get closer to them than they should."
Zyks said it was a shocking experience for her.
"I hope I never experience it again because the outcome next time may not be as good as this one was," she said.
If someone is out hiking and they unintentionally find themselves close to a buffalo, Farmer said slowly they should walk backward unless the buffalo is being aggressive and then they should try to put a tree or a large object between themselves and the buffalo. He also said if somebody sees someone too close, they should tell them if they can safely do so. He also says they can call the refuge visitors center and they'll send someone out.