Sparky the bison gained national fame back in 2013. He was struck by lightning and lived to tell the tale. He became something of a celebrity. He may have survived the lightning strike, but old age finally caught up with Sparky. He died Friday at the age of 14.

He was born at the National Bison Range and was transported to Iowa at the age of 2. His new home was the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge, an 800-acre piece of land near Prairie City, Iowa. The incident that made him famous happened in 2013. A wildlife biologist found him shortly after the lightning strike. They knew what the wound was from since other animals had been hit in previous storms. No other had survived until Sparky.

Officials with the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge say that Sparky had lost a lot of weight and was "going downhill" in recent months. His body was found last Friday. Even though he was badly scarred by lightning, Sparky still had remained an active member of the herd and was a fan favorite.


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