A rooster kills a police officer in the Philippines during a Covid-19 lockdown raid.

A police officer in the Philippines was killed this week after a fighting rooster slashed him during a raid on an illegal cockfighting den to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The officer, Lt. Christian Bolok, 38, was part of a team that descended on an arena in the province of Northern Samar on Monday, after it was suspecting of violating lockdown rules against mass gatherings.

“There was a commotion, the spectators scampered away, and when the dust cleared, Officer Bolok tried to pick up one of the birds, but he didn’t notice that it still had bladed spurs on,” the provincial police chief, Col. Arnel Apud, said in an interview.

Fighting roosters typically have a razor-sharp steel blade called a gaff attached to their legs, and the bird Lieutenant Bolok grabbed slashed him with one.

“He was wounded in his femoral artery on the left leg and lost a lot of blood,” Colonel Apud continued. “Within minutes, he died. It was a freak accident.”

In the Philippines, which has confirmed 375,180 cases of the virus and 7,114 deaths, security forces help maintain lockdown orders.

While cockfighting has been legalized in many areas and matches are sometimes sanctioned and televised, the government banned it and other such events in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among large crowds.

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