A Swedish stripper and adult model known for disrobing to protest bullfights threw herself into a Spanish bullring this weekend to comfort a dying bull. A fully clothed Amina Axelsson jumped into a bullring in Málaga, a city in southern Spain, holding a sign that said “Stop bullfights!” before a matador removed her from the ring, a Swedish news agency reported.
Axelsson, from southern Sweden, was arrested after the protest, and faces fines as well. Besides staging protests against the fur industry in Sweden, she once stripped and painted herself in fake blood during a separate bullfight, as well, according to the report.
“It was a symbolic act to show that we are thinking about the bull,” Axelsson said to The Local. “I was nervous about doing it… but more nervous about police than the bull."
The 41-year-old vegan who said she decided against a naked protest on this specific occasion, was praised by animal rights leaders in Europe. Mimi Bekhechi, director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals UK, condemned bullfights in Spain, saying bulls are electrically shocked and tranquilized before the bullfights.
"No animal should have to endure an agonizing and unnecessary death for the enjoyment of a crowd,” Axelsson said through PETA. “I’m joining with PETA to urge caring people everywhere to end these bloody, internationally condemned events by never patronizing bullfights.”
Axelsson is not the first activist to jump into a bullring this year. A protester in August entered a bullring to comfort a dying bull. In that instance, Virginia Ruiz had originally wanted to film the bullfight, but said later she couldn’t stop herself from going into the ring to comfort the injured animal.
— The Local Sweden (@TheLocalSweden) September 22, 2015
While bullfights have been part of the Spanish cultural heritage for decades, they have diminished in popularity in recent years. Some Spanish municipalities have started to take away public funding from bullfights. Only 29 percent of Spanish people supported bullfighting in 2013, according to a poll from the Ipsos MORI, a market research company based in the United Kingdom.