Update (August 31, 2022): A likely terrified bull who was forced to participate in a rodeo at the Florida State Fairgrounds escaped from a holding pen, reportedly by knocking off one of the side panels of the gate, and frantically ran through the crowd, toward an empty section of the stadium. Rodeos are a dangerous place for all animals, but unlike all the humans in attendance, the bull wasn’t there by choice.
A video of the incident shows the bull breaking through a partition, as attendees of the cruel event scrambled to get out of his way and the announcer urged the crowd to “remain calm.” The bull was then roped and pulled back toward the arena, forced over a barrier, and dragged through the dirt by his throat, before being forcefully pulled back into the holding pen. It’s unclear whether he was forced to perform later in the event.
Terrifying moment a bull broke out of its holding pen and into a panicked crowd during a rodeo at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. pic.twitter.com/748c6u4Mrd
— Storyful (@Storyful) August 30, 2022
Originally published on May 25, 2022:
A bull escaped the Redding Rodeo Grounds in Redding, California, on May 20, taking a leap of faith directly into the audience. Video taken during the rodeo shows the frantic bull twisting and leaping to buck off the rider, jumping several feet in the air to make it over the fence, and barging through the crowd in his panic to break free. Unlike all the humans in attendance, the bull had not chosen to be there.
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) May 23, 2022
Rodeos Are Terrifying, Unsafe Places for All Animals
The bull’s frantic escape took place during the final section of the bull-riding event at the Northern California rodeo. According to Redding Rodeo officials, the bull “ran out of the rodeo grounds and towards the contestant parking area” and was eventually corralled by livestock handlers about a half-mile away, near the Sundial Bridge, and immediately placed in a trailer. Officials didn’t provide any further details about the bull’s fate, but the Redding police have confirmed that six humans were injured during his escape.
Rodeos are displays of human dominance over other animals, thinly disguised as entertainment. Many bulls forced to participate have sustained fatal injuries, including broken backs and necks, and have experienced heart attacks and aneurysms.
Rodeo performers have been observed beating, kicking, and shocking normally docile bulls and other animals in holding pens—abuse they inflict in order to provoke bulls’ instinct to run from harm. It’s no wonder that bulls are frantic by the time they’re released into arenas and that they’ve caused injuries to humans many times in their panic.
The animals who aren’t killed during events often still meet a vicious death: When they’re too old or worn out to continue “performing,” “retirement” often means a one-way trip to the slaughterhouse.
Bulls Are Being Tormented—They Need Us to Speak Up
To help bulls like the one who tried to escape from the Florida State Fairgrounds, never support rodeos, bull riding, or any other activity that forces animals to perform. If a rodeo comes to your town, write letters to sponsors, leaflet at the gate, or hold a demonstration. You can contact PETA for help, too. Take action for bulls being tormented in other barbaric “sports” today!