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In Costa Rican Bullfighting, You Can’t Kill the Bull . . . But the Bull Can Kill You

(Photo: Lindsay Fendt)

Bullfighting in other parts of the world is often a gory spectacle that ends in the deaths of the bulls. It’s different in the bullfighting and rodeo traditions of Costa Rica. There, daring young men enter the ring as improvisados—daredevils who ride, chase, and evade the bulls. No matter what the bulls do, improvisados are not allowed to hurt or kill them. These rules led to 200 bull-induced injuries at the recent national Zapote Festival. Lindsay Fendt of Modern Farmer was on hand to photograph the event. You can see her photo essay here.


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