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Alps hiker killed after being gored by bull

Ben McPartland · 18 May 2015, 09:33

Published: 18 May 2015 09:33 GMT+02:00

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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.

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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.”

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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