Activists and animal rights campaigners have been accused of making sick remarks after a celebrated matador was gored to death.
Iván Fandiño died after falling under the animal’s horns and a string of online bloggers responded by gloating over the tragedy and expressing joy.
The inappropriate remarks were immediately condemned as “disrespectful towards his family”.
He was performing for a crowd in Aire-sur-l’Adour, southwestern France, on Saturday, July 17, when he tripped on his cape and fell to the ground allowing the bull he was fighting to gore him savagely.
The Basque bullfighter from Orduña near Bilbao in Spain was rushed out of the arena by his fellow bullfighters and underwent an emergency procedure in the bullring’s surgery before being put in ambulance bound for a nearby hospital.
But he was pronounced dead on arrival.
One blogger wrote: “Bull 1 Bull Fighter 0.”
“Victory to the Bull…may he live his days free from those who would kill him.”
Another said it was “a job well done” by the bull and another said: “He paid the price he knew he could pay for his ‘sport’ and I have no sympathy really, not for him or the family he leaves behind.”
“This story makes me exceedingly happy. “There is no place in civilised society for cowards who torture and kill innocent animals for sport.”
But the remarks triggered anger across social media networks.
One furious commentator wrote:
“I don’t approve of bull fighting or any form of animal cruelty but that’s no way to talk.
“It’s disrespectful to the poor guy and his family, whatever your feelings about animals.”
“Show some respect for the dead, man.
“Nobody deserves to die like that.
“The way you guys are gloating disgusts me. Show some class.”
On his way to hospital Fandiño, 36, pleaded: “Hurry up, I’m dying.”
Fandiño suffered a heart attack while in the bullring’s surgery and a second heart attack reportedly ended his life in the ambulance.
“I have no words; I can’t believe it,” said Juan del Álamo, the bullfighter who eventually killed the animal that had gored Fandiño.
“He was in a lot of pain from the goring, but nobody expected it to end up like this.
“None of us understand how it could have happened.
“It was all so fast.
“The bull knocked him down with its hindquarters and he fell face down.”
He had been injured in the ring twice before, most recently in 2015 and is believed to be the first bullfighter to die in the ring in France since 1921.
The Spanish royal family and prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, honoured Mr Fandiño.
King Felipe, who was not known as a supporter of the sport, tweeted his tribute to a “great bullfighter figure”.