US Student Gored By A Bull In Spanish Festival [Video]

A 20-year-old U.S. student is recovering in intensive care after being gored and tossed by a bull during a bull running festival in Salamanca, Spain.

According to officials, Benjamin Miller from Georgia is apparently recovering after receiving horrific injuries from a large bull during the “Carnaval del Toro” in Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Spain on February 14.

The Spanish language video at the end of this article includes scenes of the incident. Sensitive viewers are warned that those images are quite harrowing. The Independent IE also has some gruesome photos of the incident, showing a man trying to pull the bull off Miller.

Miller was reportedly gored several times and received wounds to his thigh, sphincter and back. According to surgeon Enrique Crespo who attended to Miller’s injuries, one wound measured 40 centimeters (15 inches) and while it was not the worst injury he has seen, it was “the biggest goring wound” he has ever had to treat.

Miller was not alone, as two other men were injured in the bull running festival. Town councillor Pedro Munoz said an unidentified Scot and a local Spaniard were also gored by bulls in the festival, but their injuries were considered to be comparatively minor.

Fiestas of this type tend to be popular and attract an international audience, but they are extremely dangerous. Munoz explained that they always have Dr. Crespo and emergency equipment on hand during the festivals.

“Doctor Crespo is a world-renowned expert and we have a medically-equipped helicopter on stand-by every day of our annual fiesta.”

According to Munoz, around 45,000 to 50,000 people attended the “encierro” this year, which ran over a four day period, including both bull fighting and bull running events.

In the meantime, the U.S. student has undergone a three-hour operation to repair the damage to his thigh, sphincter and back muscles and is reportedly stable in intensive care, according to the surgeon.

Spaniards are gradually turning their backs on the various bull festivals in Spain, saying they are cruel and are to be considered “torture not culture.” The Independent reports that an Ipsos Mori poll run in 2013 uncovered the fact that the majority of Spaniards do not approve of public funds being used for the cruel sport and that 75 percent of those polled have not attended a bullfight in the last five years. The poll also showed that only 29 percent were in favor of the sport.

However, despite these figures, Spain’s MPs voted to give bullfighting a special cultural heritage status. This move was condemned by several international animal rights organizations.

gored by a bull

Many “antitaurina” protests have been held in Spain against the decision and several Facebook groups are actively working against bullfighting in all its forms. However, it seems the subject only rears its head in the news when someone from outside of Spain is gored by a bull.

In other animal attack news, the Inquisitr reports that a surfer was killed by a 13-foot Great White Shark in Australia recently.

[Images: Running of the bulls CC by-SA Martorell, Anti-bullfight protest in Zaragoza CC by-SA Gaudiramone]