For hundreds of years, humans have crowded stadiums to watch the abuse and killing of bulls for sport -- but in two recent incidents in Canada and Mexico, the angry animals managed to leap into the stands, injuring spectators. Such apparent desperation on the part of the animals is reigniting questions of ethics when it comes to one of the world's most controversial forms of entertainment. The first incident, captured in the footage above, occurred during a bullfighting match held in Plaza de Toros, Mexico City. Upon being released into the round, the agitated bull runs directly towards the taunting crowd and leaps over the walls of the enclosure. Spectators managed to flee unharmed from the half-ton animal, but the spear-wielding picador was injured in the chaos, reports the Daily Mail.
Eventually, the bull returned to the field and the match continued as planned. The animal's defiant gesture, it seems, did little to spare its life.
A similar scene took place last Friday at a far less inhumane sporting event -- a rodeo in held in Edmonton, Canada -- when a 1,500 pound bull leaped over a barrier into the frantic audience. Four people were injured in the incident before rodeo staff managed to rope the bull and return him to an enclosure, according to RTE News. Although bull riding produces significantly less discomfort to bulls than does bullfighting, there's no telling what fate will befall the animal for its bid at revenge -- though I suspect he will fare little better than his Mexican counterpart.
These two recent examples of bull retaliation are drawing comparison to an occurrence that took place just last August during a bullfight in Spain. One rampaging bull was able overtake its confines and confront the audience, injuring forty spectators, including a child who suffered serious injuries after being gored.
The human toll from these incidents is undeniably tragic, resulting from a sport that has brought about the suffering of countless bulls as well. In recent years, protests throughout Spain have challenged the practice, one of the nation's most iconic cultural traditions, though it remains a multi-million dollar industry fueled largely by tourists. Nevertheless, certain regions of Spain have pushed to ban the sport altogether.
As long as there's an audience willing to pay to see such events in which animals suffer, they are likely to continue -- as are incidents wherein people get injured by the angry bulls. Regardless of how you feel about the sport, perhaps the only way to prevent such scenes from taking place again is if all those seats are empty.