(CNN) -- A police officer has been killed by a rooster while attempting to break up an illegal cockfight in the Philippines, authorities have said.

Police in the Northern Samar province said Lieutenant Christian Bolok was struck by the rooster's gaff -- a metal blade attached to the bird for a fight.

The gaff hit Bolok's femoral artery as he was confiscating the bird, police said, adding: "He was rushed to the provincial hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival due to heavy blood loss."

There is a long history of both legal and illegal cockfighting in the Philippines, but the sport was banned in the region in August after it was found to have been a source of Covid-19 infections.

Illegal cockfights in the country are known as "tupada" and often operate in underground locations to avoid detection by authorities.

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

Three people were arrested at the event and three more suspects were identified but remain at large after escaping the raid, the Philippines News Agency reported.

Officers confiscated seven fighting cocks and recovered 550 pesos ($11).

Bolok's police force posted images from a memorial service held for the officer on Wednesday.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.