The killing of a bull by a matador is a moment requiring nerve, skill, speed and cojones. Although severely injured, exhausted and confused, the animal still packs a pair of solid horns backed by more than 400kg of beef that can cause serious injury or even death. One last burst of energy, one last well timed charge and the matador may find himself atop those horns, with his life flashing before his eyes.
The matador will get his killing sword from the side of the ring, raise it, and lunge, thrusting the blade deep through the bulls back, killing it immediately. That is how it is supposed to happen anyway. Yesterday, we saw no such thing, with the bulls surviving for several minutes, several of them requiring a second strike after the first was delivered poorly.
The four photos below, taken using a burst mode of my camera, show the moment in question. On this occasion the delivery was successful and the bull died more quickly than his other colleagues on this day. Having delivered the fatal stroke the matador spins and points at the bull, seemingly to will it to fall and die.
Some might question whether I should be showing such graphic photos on my blog. I don’t think the photos are too graphic, personally. There are no entrails to be seen spilling onto the floor. But I like to photograph what I have seen and my blog itself is a record of Mexico through my eyes. And thus, anything I see, you see. Be it pleasant, pretty, brutal, wondrous or interesting. All of this is what we call life. And death. Both happen in exactly equal measure, eventually.