Raging bull leaves man in critical condition
An elderly man who suffered severe head injuries after being "tossed around like a rag doll" and repeatedly mauled by a bull is today in Wellington Hospital's intensive care unit.
The 79-year-old Upper Hutt man appeared to be loading cattle on to a stock truck when the bull attacked on a rural property on State Highway 2, about 10 kilometres north of Masterton, about 12.45pm yesterday, Senior Sergeant Warwick Burr said.
"The bull repeatedly charged at the man until other people present were able to get the animal out of the yards."
It is believed that the accident happened on the injured man's property and he was the owner of the bull.
Police were called and had to shoot the bull after it charged other farm workers and a police car.
The man was flown to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition with head and chest injuries.
A hospital spokesman said today the man was in a stable condition in the intensive care unit.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman Dave Greenberg said the man was in a "very serious" condition in the back of an ambulance when the helicopter arrived.
He was moving around a lot and a paramedic had to immobilise him so a tube could be put down his throat.
Mr Greenberg said he was told the man was caught up in the bull's "horns and tossed around like a rag doll, striking his head several times, and then the bull trampled him".
Wellington Free Ambulance Wairarapa operations team manager James McMeekin said the nature of the injuries to the man's head and chest suggested he had been pinned against a wall and crushed rather than being trampled.
There were safety concerns for the ambulance staff at the scene, "but they were able to tend to the patient without delays", he said.
The Dominion Post