On July 24, 1904, a strange fight between a bull and a Bengal tiger was held in the Chofre bullring in Donostia (Gipuzkoa). Although the bull-tiger duel was preceded by a traditional bullfight, all people who attended that event was anxious to see a blood-and-gore spectacle between the bull and the tiger. The ferocious animals were placed in a large cage in the center of the arena. For almost all the fight, the bull was dominant over the tiger. The tiger constantly tried to evade the bull’s attacks. However, the spectators, who expected a bloodier fight, got bored and became increasingly tense and angry. In an attempt to satisfy the anxious audience, people in the arena started brutally hitting the animals to enrage them more. Suddenly, the bull impaled the tiger against the walls of the cage and the impact made a huge dent, through which the animals passed out of the fortified structure. Then, panic spread quickly in the bullring. Local law enforcement officers shot several times at the tiger until it died. However, some of the shots bounced around as well, resulting in the death of one spectator and a further sixteen victims of bullet wounds. The bull-tiger fight, which was a grim embodiment of the principle of the survival of the fittest, ended in tragedy.

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The audience expectant waiting to see the bull-tiger fight

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The bull against the tiger

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The bull and the tiger out of the cage


Every Friday we look into our Basque archives for interesting historic events that happened on the same day