Two men were killed by knife-wielding birds as they prepared to watch them fight to the death in illegal cockfights.
The two freak accidents happened during India’s Hindu Makar Sankranti festival, which is known for its cruel sport.
According to the New India Express, one man was killed by his own rooster while tying blades to the bird’s feet.
Gande Suryapraksha Rao was preparing his prized cockerel for a fight in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, when the crowd startled the bird.
As a result, the knife-wielding bird flew upward in a frenzy, severing Rao’s leg.
After the unfortunate series of events, the 43-year-old was rushed to the hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival after bleeding out from his wound.
Another man, identified by the New India Express as K. Padmaraju, was a spectator at a different cockfight in the East Godavari district when the bird flew into the crowd and cut his hand.
Padmaraju died as a result of the strange turn of events.
It’s obviously not as much fun when the shoe is on the other foot. Or, apparently, the knife.
Despite the Indian Supreme Court outlawing cockfighting in 2018, efforts to curb the brutal competitions have failed.
Cockfighting is still common in Andhra Pradesh, India’s southernmost state.
It is a custom observed on Sankranti, the day the Sun moves from the zodiac sign of Sagittarius to Capricorn.
Although the traditional practice is now illegal, police are finding it difficult to enforce due to the popularity of the events.
People travel long distances to attend, with one witness telling the Express that he traveled 700 kilometers to witness the fights.
“During the three-day Sankranti festival, cockfights are the most popular attractions in Godavari and parts of Krishna and Guntur districts,” he said.
Police have even attempted to turn a blind eye on the condition that more violent knife fights do not occur.
“However, shortly after we left, the request was openly flouted,” a police official told the Express.
During the rooster fights, bids can range between 10,000 rupees (£100, AUD$177) and 500,000 rupees (£5,000, AUD$8,892).
For those interested in participating in the sport, roosters specially bred for fighting range in price from 8,000 rupees (£80, AUD$142) to 20,000 rupees (£200, AUD$355).