The centuries-old running of the bulls in Pamplona is a world famous event. After a two-year break from the pandemic, thousands of locals and visitors are again running away from bulls and their horns this year. As every year, many do not survive unscathed.
Five people were impaled by bulls at the traditional bull run in Pamplona this year. A total of 52 participants had to be treated in hospital, the authorities in the Spanish region of Navarre said. In the last race this year alone, which lasted little more than two minutes in the morning, there were six injuries. Some of the injured were impaled on the buttocks and genitals, among other things, and some were still in the hospital after several days.
The San Fermín festival in Pamplona goes back to medieval traditions. It became famous around the world in 1926 through the novel "Fiesta" by Ernest Hemingway. Because of the corona pandemic, the festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 - for the first time since the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.
A total of 16 people have died since data collection began in 1911. The last fatality was in 2009, a 27-year-old Spaniard. His parents laid flowers along the route of the bull hunt on Sunday, the 13th anniversary of his death.
Animal rights activists are not worried about the runners, but about the bulls. Also this year they protested against the event, which is meanwhile also controversial in Spain. Activists carried placards reading "Bullfighting is prehistoric". According to animal rights activists, the bulls are tortured by the hunt. And that's not all: in the evenings they are killed by toreros during bullfights in the arena to the cheers of the spectators.
Despite this, the festival continues to attract crowds of tourists from all over the world, especially from Europe, Australia and the USA. According to initial estimates, the 200,000-inhabitant city of Pamplona was visited by a million people from home and abroad on the occasion of this year's "Sanfermines".