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Seven people were gored and several more were trampled during the annual running of the bulls earlier this month in Pamplona, Spain. According to news reports, at least 13 people have been killed during the festival since 1924, with hundreds more injured over the years.
Pictures from this year's event showed a man being tossed in the air by a stampeding bull. A closer look revealed that his lower leg was almost fully impaled on the bull's horn. These horrific images, which quickly made the rounds on the Internet, were later followed by shots of the man giving a gleeful thumb's up from his hospital bed, as if he had just won the lottery.
Also of note at this year's event, a Spanish man lost visitation rights with his son after he brought the 10-year-old boy with him to run with the bulls and was caught on camera. Apparently, the town fathers of Pamplona, not to mention his ex-wife, were quite chagrined that he had put the boy in such an unsafe situation.
I have no desire to run in front of sharp-horned animals, or even dull-horned ones. Even so, this inherently dangerous tradition fascinates me. How is it that this anachronism has not gone the way of bear baiting, chariot racing and knife throwing?
Can you imagine if it were held in America, instead of Spain?
I can picture a few uniquely American touches that such an event would bring on our shores:
No, I think Pamplona, Spain, has nothing to fear from Americans when it comes to the running of the bulls. At least until the lawyers arrive.