A Spanish bullfighter has died after he was gored during a festival in France.
Ivan Fandino, 36, is the second matador to die in the last 12 months and the first to die in France since 1921.
After falling to the ground during the fight on Saturday, his feet became caught in his cape as he tried to stand up. The bull, weighing more than half a ton, charged at him and threw him into the air, impaling his chest.
Fandino, who was taking part in the Aire-sur-l’Adour bullfighting festival near Pau, southern France, died of a heart attack on his way to hospital.
It’s been reported that his last words were: ‘Hurry up, I’m dying!’ as he was carried out of the arena by fellow matadors.
The five-year-old bull which killed him was called Provechito – Spanish slang for the word ‘burp’.
Fandino won an earlier fight against the bull and cut off its ear which he claimed as a traditional prize.
His death has reignited a debate around the ethics of bullfighting, which is revered as an art form by many in Spain.
The Spanish royal family, politicians and the bullfighting world mourned him yesterday.
But animal rights activists were critical.
One, called Iker, wrote on twitter: “It doesn’t give me pleasure, but I am not sad. The bullfighter dies for killing. The bull kills to survive.”
A spokesman for the animal protection group, the Humane Society, said: ‘For the thousand bulls brutally killed in French bullfights every year, every single fight is a tragedy in which they have no chance of escaping a protracted and painful death. Blood sports like this should be consigned to the history books. No-one, neither human nor animal, should lose their life for entertainment.’
Fandino, who fought his first bull aged 14, had been a professional fighter since 2005. He had been injured at least twice before.
His widow, Cayetana, with whom he had a baby daughter, was yesterday arranging to have her husband’s body returned to Spain for his funeral.