A day after dashing Spanish bullfighter Julio Aparicio showed his dominance by cutting the ears off two vanquished bulls, one of their bovine brothers got revenge yesterday by gruesomely impaling the matador through his throat and out his mouth.
As Aparicio held his red cape and sword out to face down the 1,100-pound beast named Opiparo at the Feria de San Isidor bullfighting event in Las Ventanas, Spain, the bullfighter lost his footing and the bull was able to strike.
"[The horn] went though the tongue and penetrated the roof of the mouth, fracturing the jawbone," one of the medics who worked on Aparicio told AFP news in Madrid.
The Seville native, a member of a well-known family of matadors, was in grave condition last night but expected to survive.
The sickening goring happened as Aparicio was going in for the faena, a series of passes in which he uses his cape and sword before delivering the wounded animal the death blow, or estocada.
As Aparicio teased the angry bull with his cape to entertain the fans, it was the bull who delivered the finishing move as the experienced matador fell to his rear end.
The bull thrust its horn into the matador's throat then drew it back a moment later, yanking it out of the man's mouth.
Aparicio was able to briefly stand before being overcome by the wound and falling as assistants rushed into the bloody, dusty ring and drew Opiparo away.
It was not clear what happened to the bull. *(Editors note:see below)
Aparicio was rushed to a medical facility located in the stadium and stabilized.
An initial scan showed skull damage, and he also had a tracheotomy, according to Spanish news sources.
"We don't have a reason to fear for his life, although he will have a very slow recuperation," Dr. Maximo Garcia Padros told El Pais newspaper.
***[UPDATE: from the Telegraph.UK."The pink-stockinged, sequined matador was lifted into the air and then dropped to the sand. The bull backed away after it was distracted by fellow matadors who dashed to the rescue. The 41-year-old struggled to his feet, staggered a few yards, spluttering blood and was then carried from the ring and into the medical ward at the Las Ventas arena.
He later underwent six hours of surgery at the October 12 hospital in Madrid where doctors performed an emergency tracheotomy and worked to reconstruct his throat, jaw, tongue and roof of the mouth. "He remains in the intensive care unit of the hospital, has regained consciousness and his vital signs are stable," reported a spokesman from the hospital.
"There were no surgical complications" said the bullfighter's father, also called Julio Aparicio. "It was a serious goring. Almost his entire mouth was destroyed. It's too early to talk of recovery, we must wait and see." There were fears for his life in the first anxious hours after the goring.
The injured man comes from a famous bullfighting family - his father is also a matador - and he was one of the big draws at the San Isidro bullfighting festival that takes place each May in Madrid.
The evening bullfights are watched by sell-out crowds at the 25,000 seat Las Ventas bullring and are broadcast live on cable television. Six animals are killed in each bullfight.
(Editor's Note "Odd no one finds the sight of a confused and terrified bull being slowly killed, blood pouring from its body, repeatedly stabbed until the final death blow! Then he would bravely cut the bulls ears off. Yeah, way to go, not gory at all. Not cruel???")
Many of Spain's newspapers carried the photograph of the exact moment of the goring, sparking arguments on their message boards. Some viewers thought the image too shocking. Others used it as a chance to call for a ban on bullfighting altogether.
Huffington Post Results of a vote open to the public which asked your opinion of what happened these were the choices and results:
"The Bull. The matador deserved what he got. 86% (4,644 votes)"
"The matador. Bullfighting a part of Spanish culture. 14% (741 votes)"
Editor's note: My vote--one for the bull, the matador deserved what he got!! This bull isn't a commodity. When are people going to figure this out? Killing an innocent animal, taking a life for entertainment isn't a sport, isn't fun for the animal, and it certainly isn't moral!!
Total Votes: 5,385.
Julio Aparicio Gored In Neck
Julio Aparicio Gored In Neck
Please send comments and submittals to
the Editor: Linda Beane [email protected]
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