As he crashes onto the ground, Dinh manages to get onto his knees but then, from behind, the animal he once owned comes rushing forward, smashing its head into his, and instantly knocking him out.
In spite of being taken to the Vietnam-Czech Friendship Hospital, he was later pronounced dead due to life-threatening injuries to his legs, spine, and brain.
Authorities are examining whether or not Dinh’s water buffalo was given any drugs to increases its fierceness.
In the meantime, the festival has been suspended until the results of the drug tests come in.
Vietnam has a long history of buffalo fighting, including cultural and superstitious beliefs about paying homage to the water goddesses.
Furthermore, the festival is seen as a testament to bravery and sacrifice, but after the Vietnam war the custom was ended, only to later resume in 1990.
Unlike human mortalities, buffalo deaths in the festival are much more common.
After Dinh’s passing, Vietnamese authorities shot the buffalo—which is ironic given that the animal did exactly what it was trained to do: exercise violence.
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