This is the terrifying moment a 16-year-old boy was gored by a bull during a traditional ‘running of the bulls’ festival in Spain.
Video footage shared online shows the teenager being ferociously thrashed by the animal’s horns against a metal fence.
The horror incident took place at the annual ‘Bous al carrer’ event in Calpe, on the Costa Blanca, just a few miles north of Benidorm.
In the footage, the boy is seen being thrown around like a rag doll as spectators behind the fence scream in terror.
The bull eventually runs away as a group of men run towards the boy, who is seen lying almost motionless on the ground with a huge gash to his leg.
He was taken to Denia Hospital, where doctors say he remains in intensive care but is ‘recovering favourably’, reports Levante EMV.
The young man had climbed through the protective fence and did not see the bull coming towards him, witnesses said.
Volunteers working the event managed to get him to safety and he was airlifted to hospital with severe chest and knee injuries.
Bull running festivals have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, with animal rights groups branding them inhumane, while large parts of the population see them as inherent part of Spanish culture.
The events typically see a bull run through towns, with streets along the route boarded up with wooden or metal fencing for spectators to stand behind.
As the bull makes its journey, many decide to jump over the fences to run with the bull, running the risk of finding themselves on the end of its sharp horns.
The latest incident has sparked calls for the age limit to attend the bull running festival to be raised from its current 16.
The Franz Weber Foundation has said minors still do not have the capacity to “decide for themselves their participation in an event that can lead to death or, at the very least, serious consequences.”
It comes after the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a recommendation in 2018 to keep young people away from bullfighting, “both as spectators and in participation format”.
“The resolution was very clear and, however, no public administration, not even the Generalitat Valenciana, has taken note, which is why the kids continue to participate in bous embolats, ensogats, al carrer or a la mar,’ the foundation said in a statement.
Rubén Pérez, coordinator of the Childhood Without Violence campaign of the Franz Weber Foundation, added that “exposure to violence in childhood can contribute to the normalization of violence and foster attitudes of acceptance of aggression against animals and also against people”.