General World

Gold-eating rooster slaughtered to recover owner’s earring

A gold-eating rooster in Ethiopia has been slaughtered – and is likely to provide a new year’s feast for the woman who was forced to buy him to recover an earring.

Hachaltu Bedira had gone to the market in Woliso, Oromia state, to sell chickens – and had not intended to go home with a cockerel.

It belonged to another trader at the market, which was busy ahead of Thursday’s celebrations to mark Ethiopia’s new year.

But the market descended into mayhem on Tuesday when the rooster escaped from its owner and then snatched and swallowed a gold earring belonging to Ms Hachaltu.

Things became so heated that the police had to intervene and confiscate the troublesome fowl.

Commander Tadesse Bedada told BBC Afaan Oromoo that the situation was only resolved after officers mediated between the two traders.

Ms Hachaltu eventually agreed to buy the cockerel for 150 Ethiopian birr ($5, £4).

This was below the usual market price of 250 birr, but his owner agreed that his rooster’s behaviour had been unorthodox, the commander said.

The cockerel had been hyper and looking for gold-coloured things to swallow when in custody, he added.

The Horn of Africa nation follows a calendar that is about seven years behind the Gregorian calendar, used in much of the rest of the world, and on Thursday it will be the start of 2012 for Ethiopians.


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