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Revenge of the Fighting Birds

DELANO, Calif. - A 35-year-old man died after being stabbed in the leg by a fighting cock. Jose Ochoa died about 2 hours after he was "stabbed in the leg by a sharp blade that was attached to a fighting bird," The Bakersfield Californian reported.

"I have never seen this type of incident," Kern County Sheriff's Sgt. Martin King told the Californian.

King told the newspaper that Ochoa and others fled when deputies arrived at the cockfight on Sunday, Jan. 30. Cockfights are illegal in California.

King said the deputies found five dead roosters, but made no arrests.

Ochoa was taken to a hospital in Delano, in the heart of California's Central Valley, after being stabbed in the right calf. An anonymous caller reported the cockfight, which was in Tulare County, about 3 miles north of the Kern County line.

Delano became famous as the center of the great grape boycott of the 1960s, led by Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers.

"It's not a surprise that somebody got killed," John Goodwin, director of animal cruelty policy for the Humane Society of the United States, told the Californian.

"It's pretty rare, but I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often considering the knives they put on those birds."

Californian staff writer Jeff Goodman broke the story.

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