Pamplona bull gores 'reckless' Australian

8th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

A fighting bull skewered a "reckless" Australian thrill-seeker in the leg Friday after he taunted the beast in Spain's San Fermin fiesta, organisers said.

A half-tonne bull pierced the the tourist's right thigh with its horn and tossed him across the sand of the bull ring in the final stage of a daily bull-run in Pamplona, northern Spain.

Doctor's in the bull-ring surgery treated the man for damage to a major artery and his condition had improved, said a spokeswoman for the festival organisers.

The pack of six massive bulls and six steers thundered 846.6 metres through the winding streets of Pamplona from a holding pen to a bull-fighting ring in 3 minutes and 10 seconds, organisers said.

Thousands of runners, most dressed in white with red handkerchiefs, surrounded the charging bulls, some a few paces in front of the beasts' horns and others slapping them from the side or behind.

But once the herd entered the ring, the Australian tourist, dressed in a T-shirt and short jeans with a red bandana around his waist, started waving his arms in the air, running and jumping behind a bull.

When the powerful beast turned towards him, the man tried to switch direction but slipped and tumbled in the sand.

The bull lowered its head and drilled a sharp left horn into the man's right thigh, tossing him across the ground and then pushing its head into the man's back.

Other runners scrambled to distract the bull from its attack: one waved a matador's cape at the bull's head and another pulled its tail until the beast moved away.

The Australian, whose name was not given, stood up after his mauling, shown to millions on live television.

"He was reckless, that was really bad, you should not do that," said the festival spokeswoman. "He is being treated in the bull ring surgery, one of his main arteries in the thigh was affected but his status is now less serious."

At least three other runners, whose nationalities were not given, suffered minor injuries including bruising to the face and back during the run, organisers said.

Four runners were also injured in this year's inaugural bull run on Thursday.

© 2011 AFP

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