An explosive viral video has captured two Alaskan musk oxen repeatedly smashing their mighty heads together. The video shows two males, each weighing up to 800 pounds, thrusting their heads together at full speed to vie for a female. It’s remarkable how forceful their repeated bumps are.
The Alaskan musk oxen population was on the brink of extinction by 1920. However, thanks to conservation efforts over the past century, the population has rebounded to 4,000 animals. Even so, we don’t often see pictures or videos of these majestic creatures. Seeing such a brutal display has captured the internet’s imagination. The clip posted on Twitter by Crude Magazine has already garnered tens of thousands of views.
Edna Iyatunguk caught these musk oxen head-butting up on Anvil Mountain outside of Nome. pic.twitter.com/9FGc9hx92f— Crude Magazine (@crudemag) September 16, 2021
Watching the video, it’s impossible not to imagine what such a beast would do to a human if they head-butted. However, one such case is public record. In 2010, a rambunctious musk ox head-butted a 20-year-old Mormon missionary at a tourist attraction outside Palmer, Alaska. Four years later, the victim was awarded $10,000, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Michael Simkins had originally asked the Musk Ox Farm for $200,000. This was to cover medical expenses, lost income and other damages. All as a result of physical and emotional distress, according to settlement briefs filed in the case. The farm is operated by the nonprofit Muskox Development Corp. They offered to pay $7,500.
The victim didn’t suffer a skull fracture from the Musk ox
According to a one-page document in the large musk ox lawsuit file at the Palmer courthouse, a judge approved the $10,000 settlement. Simkins stated that he was headbutted by a musk ox. This was on his first day volunteering at the Musk Ox Farm near Glenn Highway in late September 2010. The Utah man had been assigned through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as mission leader in the Palmer-Wasilla area.
He was scooping grain into a bucket from a fence when the animal suddenly approached him. [My] attention was directed to the task at hand, and I had no reason to expect that a musk ox would charge the fence, pushing it into me,” Simkins said in 2014.
Mr. Simkins filed a civil personal injury claim two years after the event, within the state’s statute of limitations period. According to a settlement statement prepared by his counsel, Simkins was tormented by anxiety, headaches, and seizures as a result of the accident. He claims he lost the ability to complete some job responsibilities. The seizure occurred 18 months after the incident according to paperwork from the farm’s attorney.
After the head-butting incident, it is possible that Simkins received a concussion. A doctor saw him a couple of days later and did not find any evidence of a skull fracture. Of course, this is according to the farm’s settlement brief.