An Edmonton man who was gored by a wild bison says he’s fortunate the animal only pierced his rear and not a vital organ.

"Although it was a bad situation, I feel pretty lucky," Craig Neilson told CTV Edmonton.

Neilson and his wife were camping over the Victoria Day long weekend in Elk Island National Park, a lake-dotted swath of prairie wilderness just 35 kilometers east of Edmonton that boasts a healthy population of once-threatened American bison.

Neilson had been out for a morning run along a park road when he spotted the animal grazing roughly 40 metres away from him.

"Basically, right after I stopped running and after I saw him, he looked up, saw me and immediately charged," Neilson recalled. "This is a pretty large animal and he's wild, so him coming right at me was actually kind of terrifying."

Neilson says he then tried to run away, but slipped and fell. That’s when the bison gored him.

"It was his left horn, into my left butt cheek," he said. "Right after he hit me, I had just enough time to scurry into the trees before he could do anything else -- before he could hit me again or stomp on me."

Neilson was eventually able to get back to the road where he flagged down a passing vehicle that brought him to a patrolling sheriff. The officer administered first aid while they waited for paramedics to arrive.

"I just saw Craig and there was blood all over him," Neilson’s wife, Amberly Neilson, said.

"I didn't know if I was going to pass out," she added. "I thought, 'Oh, crap: I'm going to go into labour.'"

Fortunately, only her husband required a trip to the hospital, where he received six stitches to close the wound.

With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Angela Jung