A Spanish matador is in critical condition after being severely gored by one of the bulls in the ring.

Mariano De la Viña, 57, was ‘performing’ in the El Pilar traditional fair at the Plaza de Toros in Zaragoza, Spain, when he was charged by a bull, knocked to the floor and gored before being thrown into the air.

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The enraged animal then proceeded to drag De la Viña across the bullring. He reportedly suffered three cardiac arrests as a result of being gored.

After De la Viña was dragged across the ring in front of a stunned audience, the animal attacked him for a second time – leaving him with a 27cm wound through his groin and a 22cm cut between his rectum and bladder.

A vital artery in his right Scarpa triangle, along with his femoral artery were also severed during the attack.

De la Viña has undergone two lengthy operations in an attempt to save his life and friends and family have said that it is a ‘miracle’ that he is still alive while his surgeon described his injuries as ‘cataclysmic’.

The fallen matador has since come off of his ventilator and begun to regain consciousness, with doctors saying his blood flow appears to have stabilised.

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Dr. Carlos Val-Carreres, chief surgeon of the infirmary of the bullring of Zaragoza, told the bullfighting newspaper Mundotoro:

We have saved the life of Mariano De la Viña in the first instance but it is still very serious. He is in the Intensive Care Unit of the Quirónsalud Zaragoza Hospital, with the latest bulletin confirming he is stable but very serious.

After sedation withdrawal, the patient’s neurological response begins to be positive. Circulation is good in his right leg.

Although bullfighting is protected under the Spanish constitution as cultural heritage, support for the practice in the country is diminishing as calls for it to end increase.

According to Animal Guardians, support for bullfighting across Spain has fallen from 30 per cent to 19 per cent in less than three years.

You can sign a petition to put an end to bullfighting and bull runs here.