Killer Spanish bull called 'Mouse´' dies: owner

25th March 2013, Comments 0 comments

Spain's most feared bull, who killed three people and injured dozens of others at bullfighting fiestas, has died, its owner said Monday, adding he now wants to have the half-tonne beast embalmed and put on display at a museum.

"It all happened within 24 hours. We found him a bit sickly and we gave him antibiotics but he died yesterday afternoon," Gregorio de Jesus, the owner of the bull named "Raton", or "Mouse" in English, told AFP by telephone from his breeding farm near the village of Sueca in the eastern region of Valencia.

The black bull, which had a distinctive triangular white marking between its horns, was given its name because he was so small when he was born 13 and a half years ago.

But he grew into a fearsome half-tonne beast whose record in the ring made him a legend and a big draw for spectators.

Raton killed three men at bullfighting fiestas in 2005, 2006 and 2011, according to de Jesus, who charged around 10,000 euros ($13,000) for appearances in bull runs by Raton.

The most recent death took place at a bull run held as part of traditional annual fiesta in the town of Xativa in Valencia.

Video images filmed in the ring show the Raton lifting the victim, a man in his 30s, with his horns and tossing him to the floor before goring him with his horns.

"He had suffered from arthritis due to old age during the past few months but the animal was doing alright," de Jesus said of Raton, before adding that the bull had last performed in the ring ten days ago in Valencia.

Blood samples were taken from the bull, whose age would be the equivalent of 80 or 90 years in a human, and will be analysed on Monday to determine the cause of death, he added.

De Jesus said he plans to have Raton embalmed and put on display at a museum he intends to set up on his breeding farm or in the nearby village of Sueca.

He said he had at one point planned to have Raton cloned but never got around to doing it. De Jesus is now betting heavily on another one of his fighting bulls named Ratoncito, or Little Mouse.

A notoriously dangerous practice, bull runs involve a number of bulls being set loose on a particular route or in an arena. People run at the animals to see how close they can get without getting hurt.

The most famous bull run takes place in July in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona but numerous bull runs are organised around the country.

© 2013 AFP

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