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Authorities were forced to euthanise 143 roosters after breaking up a cockfight in a southern Californian home in an open investigation.

Standby officers arrived at the scene around midnight after receiving a call and found a further 143 birds in cages at the residence in the city of Jurupa Valley, located about 80km (50 miles) east of Lost Angeles on 5th August 2022 .

200 people who reportedly disappeared before officers could apprehend them were also at the residence along with a single unidentified man who claimed ownership of the animals.

Photo shows police officer in the area where cockfighting took place, in an undated photo. Police raided a cockfighting event Friday, Aug. 5, , in Jurupa Valley, California USA. (Riverside County Department of Animal Services/Newsflash)

According to local media, the man has been cited for a misdemeanour for possession of fighting blades used in cockfights while animal services are likely to pursue felony animal cruelty charges.

Officers who had been posted nearby after reports of an undisclosed noisy event in the area found a large number of dead and injured birds at the scene and provided assistance to animal services to gather all the live roosters and euthanise them.

The entire process lasted until around 6am.

Following a statement by the Department of Animal Services in Riverside, the birds are not suitable as pets and were humanely euthanised by the officers.

The statement added: “The birds must be euthanized because Animal Services cannot adopt out such birds as they are valuable and they would almost always end up back in a cockfighting ring.”

The investigation remains active.

In the 1920’s Norwegian biologist Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe studied roosters and hens and came to understand that the highly intelligent birds have a dominance system that came to be known as a ‘pecking order’.

At the time, little was known about the inner workings of chicken’s brains but further studies decades later from the University of California by the researchers Elsie and Nicolas Collias categorized their calls after discovering that the birds can make up to 24 different sounds.

According to the researchers, these sounds are unique to specific events, for example if a chicken faces a threat from above, such as an eagle or a person, it lets out a quiet but very high pitched “eee”.

This led to studies in the 1990’s by Chris Evans of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia that revealed that the birds are functionally referential in the same way humans are, which means sounds create a mental picture in their minds which causes them to react appropriately to threats.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Alice Amelia ThomasSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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