Ivan Fandino, a veteran Spanish bullfighter, was gored to death when his feet became caught up in his cloak during a festival in France.
Fandino, 36, fell to the ground and was gored by the bull known as Burp, according to the BBC. His heart, lungs and kidneys were injured and he died while being taken to a hospital. “It’s a tragedy,” a stunned colleague told the Daily Mail. “We just do not know how it could have happened.”
This is the first matador fatality in France, according to France’s Sud-Ouest newspaper, since 1921, when Isidoro Mari Fernando died in the arena in Béziers. Spectators at the Aire-sur-l’Adour bullfighting festival near Pau in southwest France were horrified as they watched the 5-year-old bull gore and toss the Basque bullfighter into the air.
“Ivan was caught by surprise and suffered the consequences,” an unidentified spectator told the Daily Mail. “People were cheering to begin with, thinking everything was under control. Then we realized that Ivan was very badly hurt, and he was rushed away by other matadors, supported by paramedics.”
The bull, which was gravely injured, was put down. The Humane Society International called for bullfighting to be banned in France. “For the 1,000 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. Bloodsports like this should be consigned to the history books, no one should lose their life for entertainment, human or animal.” Bullfighting was declared legal in France in 2012.
Fandino was twice injured. In 2014, he was knocked unconscious in Bayonne, France, and the following year he was thrown into the air by a bull in Pamplona, Spain.
Fandino, who is survived by his wife and daughter, is the second Spanish bullfighter to die in the ring in the last 11 months. Victor Barrio was killed after being gored by a bull last July. His death was the first involving a professional matador in the ring in Spain since 1985.