A Spanish bullfighter is fighting for his life after he was gored by one of the animals in the ring.
Mariano De la Viña, 57, was taking part in the El Pilar fair when he was charged by a bull; he was knocked to the floor and gored before the animal lifted him into the air.
The bull then dragged De la Viña across the bullring at the Plaza de Toros in Zaragoza in Spain, after which he suffered three cardiac arrests as a result of being gored.
After the bullfighter was dragged across the ring in front of a stunned audience, the animal attacked De la Viña for a second time – leaving him with a 27cm wound through his groin and a 22cm cut between his rectum and bladder.
The latter tore a vital artery in his right Scarpa triangle, with De la Viña’s femoral artery also being severed during the attack.
Friends and family of the matador say it is a ‘miracle’ he’s still alive, with De la Viña having since undergone two lengthy operations in an attempt to save his life.
The matador’s injuries were described as ‘cataclysmic’ by his surgeon, who said every hour would count towards his chance of survival.
De la Viña has since come off a ventilator and has started to regain consciousness, with doctors saying his blood flow appears to have stabilised. And while his condition is still very serious, doctors are now more optimistic.
Dr. Carlos Val-Carreres, chief surgeon of the infirmary of the bullring of Zaragoza, told the bullfighting newspaper Mundotoro:
We have saved the life of Mariano De la Viña in the first instance but it is still very serious. He is in the Intensive Care Unit of the Quirónsalud Zaragoza Hospital, with the latest bulletin confirming he is stable but very serious.
After sedation withdrawal, the patient’s neurological response begins to be positive. Circulation is good in his right leg.
Although bullfights are protected under the Spanish constitution as part of the country’s cultural heritage, support for the practice in the country is diminishing as calls for it to end increase.
According to Animal Guardians, support for bullfighting across Spain has fallen from 30% to 19% in less than three years.
You can sign a petition to put an end to bullfighting and bull runs here.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).