LOTHUNUR, India — A fighting cock with a three-inch blade strapped to its foot killed its owner as it tried to escape his grasp during an illegal cockfight in southern India.
The bird was struggling to break free when the blade slashed the 45-year-old Thanugula Satish’s groin before the fight in the village of Lothunur in India’s southern Telangana state.
He died from blood loss as he was being rushed to a hospital in the rural area, the New Indian Express reported.
Police seized the rooster and held it at a local police station for a day before transferring it to a poultry farm and are now hunting for at least 15 other people who were involved in the illegal event.
Cockfighting has been banned in India since 1960 but the gruesome events are still common in some areas. Many fights occur around the Hindu festival of Sankranti.
Police said the knife was attached to one of the rooster’s legs as it was being prepared for a fight on the grounds of a temple. When the bird tried to escape and Satish tried to catch it and in the ensuing struggle, he was slashed by the blade.
Police called the death a “freak accident.”
The others involved in the event could face charges of manslaughter, illegal betting and hosting a cockfight.
Thousands of roosters die each year during the fights.
Last year, a man died when his rooster’s blade hit him in the neck as he carried the bird to a fight in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.