Iowa bison known for surviving lightning strike dies

An Iowa bison known for surviving a lightning strike has died.

The Des Moines Register reported Friday that the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge announced Sparky the bison’s death. He was 14 years old.

Sparky was struck by lightning in July 2013. Biologist Karen Viste-Sparkman previously said she found Sparky afterward covered with burn marks, bloodied and wounded.

The biologist said he lost weight and grew weak after the lightning strike. He was found dead Thursday.

But the refuge in a Thursday Facebook post said he was still part of the bison herd after the strike and “became a symbol for the endurance of his species.”

He fathered three calves.


Information from: The Des Moines Register,