Alps hiker killed after being gored by bull

A hiker in the French Alps died when he was charged by a bull as he took a Sunday morning stroll with his wife.

Alps hiker killed after being gored by bull

The 59-year-old man and his wife were walking in the Hautes-Alpes near the village of Réallon, in the Ecrins National Park, in south east France.

According to reports the bull charged as the pair were crossing an enclosed field that contained around 15 cattle.

The bull gored the victim in his thigh, which left him with a severed artery. He also suffered head injuries as he was dragged across the field for around 20 metres by the bull.

His wife was left in shock, but was able to raise the alarm. Her husband was airlifted to a nearby hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police in the nearby town of Briancon are investigating the incident.

Incidents of hikers being killed by cattle are extremely rare.

France is a popular destination for trekking during the summer months, with the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Auvergne region among others, all drawing thousands of walkers, who come to enjoy the stunning scenery.

The network of footpaths often passes through farmland and authorities are warning walkers not to get too close to cattle.

In July 2013 hikers in France were warned about the dangers of herds of cattle after an 85-year-old walker was killed in the Pyrennees when a cow charged at him.

Four others including two children were left injured.

Authorities were forced to issue reminders that “cattle are not domestic animals” and advised hikers to keep their distance.

“There must be a certain distance and do not approach them. They are not pets,” said local mayor Pascal Sancho. “When you see that they are heading in a particular direction it is best to give them priority.”

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Cattle on stranded ship should be killed, Spanish vet report says

More than 850 cows that were stranded aboard a ship in the Mediterranean for months are not fit for transport, a confidential report by Spanish government veterinarians said, according to Reuters.

Cattle on stranded ship should be killed, Spanish vet report says
The ship had struggled to find buyers for the cattle after it was rejected from Turkey. Illustration photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP

The ship carrying the cattle, called Karim Allah, had struggled to find a buyer for the cattle for the past two months. It finally docked in the southeastern Spanish port of Cartagena on Thursday.

Several countries rejected the animals for fear they had bovine bluetongue virus, which causes lameness and haemorrhaging among cattle, but does not affect humans.

The veterinarians’ report, seen by Reuters, said the animals had suffered from the journey, and were unwell and not fit for transport outside the EU. 

It did not say if the cattle had bluetongue disease, but recommended euthanasia as the best solution for their health and welfare.

The cattle likely have severe health problems after their “hellish” crossing, animal rights activist Silvia Barquero, director of the Igualdad Animal NGO, told Reuters.

The NGO is calling for Spain to end the transport of animals outside the EU.


The Agriculture Ministry told Reuters it will make appropriate decisions after analysing information from the inspection.

The ship left Cartagena to deliver the cattle to Turkey, but authorities there blocked the shipment fearing bluetongue infection.

This led to several other countries refusing entry even to replenish animal feed, forcing the cows to go several days with just water.

The Agriculture Ministry’s experts said 864 animals were alive on board. Twenty-two cows died at sea, with two corpses still aboard. The remains of others were chopped up and thrown overboard during the journey, the report said.

Ownership of the cattle is unclear.