Fiesta season is well underway across Spain, with a large number of bull-related activities taking place in dozens of cities and communities, bull running ( encierros) bullfights and in the Alicante province of the Comunidad Valenciana, Els Bous a la mar, which involves driving a bull into the sea.
Animal rights activists are hard-pushed to know which way to turn first as bulls are chased, prodded, poked and bullied before many of them meet a premature end in the bullring in the evenings after being the focal point for the daytime “entertainment.”
On Monday the fiestas of San Fermín in Pamplona hospitalised their first runners as the encierros got underway, and in Denía, a 60 year old man was seriously injured when he was gored in the groin on Monday afternoon.
The Bous a la Mar has been declared of national tourist interest, and is part of wider fiestas, the fiestas of la santísima sangre which take place on the second Wednesday after the Fiestas of San Pedro, which include a number of religious acts, as well as sporting championships, parades, fireworks, concerts etc etc
However, the twice daily Bous a la Mar is the most widely reported activity, which basically involves revellers taunting a bull in a three sided recinto, the fourth side being the sea.
Participants taunt the bull trying to provoke it into chasing them, the aim being to make the bull leap into the sea. In spite of there being boats waiting to rope up the bull and bring it back onto dry land, there are fatalities, although the pictures of dead bulls being towed back to land rarely make the front pages as regularly as those of participants being gored or bulls in mid-air as they head towards the water.
In the Monday mid-day session a 60 year old man was seriously gored in the groin/lower stomach area, when he slipped over and fell as he attempted to leave the area and head for the beach. He was taken to hospital suffering from severe bleeding and was still conscious upon arrival.
Image: Copyrighted. Full or partial reproduction prohibited. Rubén Francés
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