A police officer from the Northern Samar province in the Philippines was killed by a rooster during a raid to break-up illegal cockfights.

CNN reports that Lieutenant Christian Bolok was hit by a metal blade attached to one of the roosters for the fight, striking his femoral artery as he was confiscating it. "He was rushed to the provincial hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival due to heavy blood loss," the local police department said.

While there's an extensive history of cockfighting in the Philippines, the sport was banned in August when cockfights had reportedly contributed to the rise of COVID-19 infections. Prior to the ban, cockfighting was permitted at licensed venues on Sundays and certain national holidays.

"I have a heavy heart as we have lost a brother who sacrificed his own life in the name of service," said Northern Samar police provincial director Arnel Apud, reports the government-run news agency. "The (Philippine National Police) grieves the untimely death of Lt. Bolok and extends its deepest sympathy to his family and relatives."

The raid was in response to numerous reports from nearby residents, and three men were arrested while three other individuals remain at large. Seven fighting roosters, with two sets of metal blades known as gaff, and bet money were also confiscated.

Just last month, as the Inquirer reports, cockfighting was unbanned in certain areas. However, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar had suggested that the cockfighting, of which some was streaming online for the purposes of gambling, was still illegal without the appropriate guidelines. "We urge the operators and the players to wait for additional time for the release of the IATF Guideline on cockfighting operation before engaging in any activity," he said.