The Southland coroner says the death of an experienced stockman after an attack from a bull is a timely reminder to anyone working with cattle that they should be appropriately trained and experienced for the task, and should plan an escape route in advance. Coroner Bruce Hesketh says he is satisfied the death of Robert Hewitt near Mataura was accidental and caused by getting too close to a 900 kg bull known as ‘Big Boy’ which advanced on him. After the man’s body was discovered the large bull started acting out bellowing, being aggressive and breaking the ground with his feet. Earlier Mr Hewitt had picked up a willow branch to try and scare the bull away. However, he was mauled by the bull, suffering extensive internal injuries. He managed to get to safety but collapsed and died at the base of a gate near the house.
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