ZION NATIONAL PARK, UT—In a harrowing tale of survival in the American southwest, hiker Bethany Gaines told reporters Thursday how she cut off her own ponytail after being trapped for days beneath a fallen boulder. “I was making my way through the slot canyons when a huge rock pinned me by the hair and I knew I was in big trouble,” said Gaines, who went without food or water for nearly four days waiting to be rescued before ultimately deciding to hack off her locks with a small Swiss army knife. “At first I couldn’t even think about it because the concept was so grotesque, but as the days wore on, it became clear that I was going to have to chop off my ponytail if I was going to get out alive. When it came time to actually do it, I just shut my eyes, pressed the blade up to my scrunchie and started frantically hacking away until I was free. I was in shock when the rescue team found me, but they airlifted me to a stylist and I don’t remember much after that. I’m just so happy to survive, but I was heartbroken when they told me they couldn’t reattach the ponytail.” Gaines told reporters she intends to become an advocate for people living with short hair following tragedies.
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