This is the viral moment, viewed over 2 million times, that a Spanish matador wipes away the tears of a bloodied bull before he kills the badly injured animal.
Popular matador Morante de la Puebla, 39, was taking part in a bullfighting festival at the Real Maestranza bullring in the city of Seville in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia when the incident took place.
Video Credit CEN/@CanalTorosES
In the footage shared on Twitter and viewed 2.3 million times, the matador is seen pulling out a tissue with his blood-soaked hand to wipe the tears from the dying bull’s eyes.
The bull is seen with four spiked ‘banderillas’ sticking out of its back before the final death act takes place.
Bullfighting fans considered the gesture as a sign of respect for the animal, however netizens and animal rights groups slammed the incident.
Silvia Barquero Nogales, leader of Spain’s Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals (Pacma) political party, said: “Only a malicious and perverse mind could torture an animal until the blood pours down its legs and then wipe its face with a tissue.
“The matador is just disguising his lack of empathy. Abolish bullfighting now!”
Meanwhile, many netizens called the matador “sadistic”, “psychopathic” and “hypocritical” as he went on to kill the bull moments after wiping its tears.
However, bullfighting fans said that Morante de la Puebla was showing respect to the animal as other famous matadors have done in the past, such as Jose Gomez Ortega.