(BBC) – A Philippine police officer has been killed by a rooster during a raid on an illegal cockfight in the province of Northern Samar.
Lieutenant Christine Bolok was struck by the rooster’s gaff – a razor-sharp steel blade which is typically attached to the leg of fighting roosters.
The blade cut his left thigh, slicing his femoral artery. He was rushed to hospital and declared dead on arrival.
Cockfighting has been banned during the virus outbreak.
Before the pandemic, it was allowed only in licensed cockpits on Sundays and legal holidays, as well as during local fiestas lasting a maximum of three days, according to the government news wire The Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Provincial police chief Colonel Arnel Apud told news agency AFP that the accident was “unfortunate”, calling it “a piece of bad luck that I cannot explain”.
“I could not believe it when it was first reported to me. This is the first time in my 25 years as a policeman that I lost a man due to a fighting cock’s spur.”
The police chief also sent his “deepest sympathy” to the victim’s family, said PNA.
Three people were arrested and seven fighting roosters, two sets of gaff and 550 Philippine Peso ($11; £8) were confiscated, reported PNA.
Three other suspects remain at large.
Cockfighting is popular in the Philippines, typically attracting large crowds who bet on the outcome of fights between the birds.