Rooster Kills Policeman in Cockfighting Raid Gone Wrong

The accident happened during a crackdown on a cockfighting ring in the Philippines, which has banned the popular sport during the pandemic.
Philippines cockfighting raid
For illustration purposes only. A rooster is fitted with a razor sharp blade as villagers engage in a cockfighting. Cockfighting is hugely popular in the Philippines where large amounts of money are wagered on battles between roosters. PHOTO: JAY DIRECTO / AFP

A Philippine police officer was killed during a cockfighting raid after one of the roosters accidentally cut his femoral artery causing massive blood loss.

Police Lieutenant Christian Bolok was picking up the rooster as evidence during the Oct. 26 operation in the central Philippines when he was cut by the blade or spur attached to the bird's leg. He died on the way to the hospital.

Cockfighting is a common pastime in the Philippines, where large sums of money are wagered on the outcome of what is usually a fight to the death between two roosters.


With a history spanning centuries, it has become a legal billion-dollar industry in the Southeast Asian country where matches are broadcast on television and breeding farms can be found everywhere.

But it was banned this year in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus in a country with the worst outbreak in Southeast Asia, with only a few places now allowed to operate legally.

The police raid was part of an effort to flatten the curve in a country where coronavirus cases have risen to 373,144.

The provincial government of Northern Samar hailed the "selfless" service of Bolok in enforcing community quarantine regulations. Several people participating in the banned cockfights tested positive for the coronavirus, the province said in a statement.

"I have a heavy heart as we have lost a brother who sacrificed his own life in the name of service," provincial police chief Arnel Apud said in a statement sent to VICE News.

This was the first time in more than two decades that he lost one of his men in a cockfight raid, Apud told Agence France-Presse in a separate interview.

Three people were arrested during the fateful raid and police confiscated seven fighting cocks and wads of cash used to place bets.