By Lee Moran
A Spanish matador was left fighting for his life after he was gored through his face during a bullfight.
The bull's horn pierced Juan Jose Padilla's jaw and emerged through his left eye socket during the grizzly incident at the northeastern city of Zaragoza's Fiestas Del Pilar event yesterday.
With blood gushing from his head, he was helped out of the ring screaming 'I can't see, I can't see'.
Caught: The bull's horn pierced Juan Jose Padilla's jaw and emerged through his left eye socket during the grizzly incident at the northeastern city of Zaragoza's Fiestas Del Pilar
He then underwent a life-saving five-hour operation to repair severe damage to his eye, bone, muscle and skin.
The bull, called Marques and from the Ana Romero ranch, quickly took its revenge after Padilla slipped and fell in the sand after the placing of the banderillas (barbed sticks).
Doctors had initially thought the goring, of which footage exists on Youtube and was shown on Spanish TV channel Canal+ Toros, would be fatal.
But the bullring's doctor Antonio Val-Carreres told El Pais newspaper that Padilla was in serious condition and was staying at Zaragoza's Miguel Servet hospital.
Before: Padilla moves to place the banderillas into the bull
During: But he slips as he turns around from the ball and falls to the floor
It is not the first time Padilla, a popular matador who has won many fans for his courage and willingness to face the toughest bulls, has been gored.
In 2001 the Jerez native suffered serious injuries to his neck during a fight in Pamplona.
Yesterday's incident happened at one of the final bull festivals of a season that saw the spectacle come under increasing pressure from anti-bullfight activists.
Opponents of the bullfight say it is a barbaric ritual which has no place in a modern society. Supporters say it is a unique art form which epitomises Spanish culture.
During: The bull then takes its revenge on Padilla by goring him in his face
After: With blood gushing from his face, and his assistants distracting the bull, Padilla is helped from the ring
The Catalonia region has banned the bullfight from next year and 20,000 fans packed Barcelona's Monumental bullring on September 25 to see the last corrida to be held there.
Although matadors are regularly hurt, the last two fatalities of senior matadors were those of Francisco Rivera Paquirri in 1984 and Jose Cubero Sanchez 'El Yiyo' in 1985.
Those events triggered national mourning and led to a resurgence of interest in the bullfight. The six bulls fought at each corrida inevitably are killed.
Marques was later put to the sword by the senior matador on the bill, Miguel Abellan, who killed it with tears streaming down his face.
Before: Juan Jose Padilla pictured three months before the goring during July's San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona