*Warning: Contains Distressing Footage*
A man has been gored to death at a bull-running festival in southern Spain after a raging bull attacked him three times.
The victim, who has been named as 74-year-old local resident Juan José Varo, had been watching the Toro Embolao event in the town of Vejer, Cadiz, when he was fatally injured by the 82-stone animal.
The bull, named ‘Campanito’, charged at the pensioner as he watched the festivities on Easter Sunday.
Juan attempted to climb to safety on a wall, but was knocked back down by the bull and attacked. Others attempted to lure and pull the huge animal away, but to no avail.
Man is gored to death at Spanish bull-running festival when 74-year-old victim tries to climb up a wall to safety but falls into the path of the rampaging animal pic.twitter.com/4QbRSfnRKn
— Nico Spalato (@NikeSpalato) April 29, 2019
The bull proceeded to attack Juan a further two times, in a horrific incident which was captured on film. Eventually, other spectators were able to pull Juan behind a barrier and away from the bull.
Juan was left with a punctured lung as well as several broken ribs as a result of the attack. He was rushed to hospital but later died from his injuries.
As reported by Euro Weekly, the mayor of Vejer has described Juan’s death as being an ‘unfortunate accident’, stating that Juan normally watched the bull-run from the same position but from behind the protective barrier.
Paramedics who attended the scene also had to treat a woman who fainted as well as a separate man who required seven stitches after being injured by the same bull, MailOnline reports.
Caution is strongly advised when watching the following footage:
The bull-run has taken place in Veja every year since 1976, with two bulls running through the streets of the hill-top tourist destination. Although the bulls used in the festival have ‘balls’ attached to their horns to protect spectators, the size and weight of these animals means there is still a risk.
Like bull fighting, bull-runs are viewed by some to be a traditional and important aspect of Spanish culture.
However, many people find such festivals to be extremely cruel on the animals involved, while posing a real risk to those watching.
PETA has made the following comment regarding the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, the historic capital of Spain’s Navarre province:
Most tourists don’t know that the dozens of bulls who are forced to run in the streets of Pamplona, Spain, are later killed in the bullring. During the daily runs, spectators and runners hit them with sticks and rolled-up newspapers.
The panicked animals can lose their footing on the slippery cobblestone streets and crash into walls, risking breaking bones or otherwise injuring themselves. This violence prompts yet more violence: There are numerous reports of sexual assaults during the “festivities.”
Our thoughts are with the family of Juan José Varo at this difficult time.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.