Payo, The 'Terrorist' Rooster

May 6, 2018
Originally published on May 6, 2018 10:37 am
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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And now another story about my hometown Miami that is on the lighter side.

(SOUNDBITE OF ROOSTER CROWING)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Payo the rooster - Payo was rescued, according to an article in The Miami Herald, by a rooster-loving family right before he was going to get his throat slit by a Santeria priest.

(SOUNDBITE OF ROOSTER CROWING)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In Santeria, the Afro-Caribbean religion, animals are often sacrificed in ceremonies. Once saved, Payo was let go in the family's backyard, where he then gained a nickname in the neighborhood. And it wasn't great. El Terrorista or the terrorist - people say they are unnerved by his foul behavior. Alfred Hitchcock could make a scary movie about him. I swear he's got fangs, said one resident. Another claimed, the other day, I heard people screaming. And I came outside and saw them running down the street. They were being chased by the rooster. He's been seen sinking his claws into the back of a bulldog and pecking at local cats, too. Some say his rage is fueled by his consumption of strong Cuban coffee.

(SOUNDBITE OF ROOSTER CROWING)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Others stare into his blood-red eyes and think he's possessed. The fight has moved online, with the anti-Payo camp complaining of rooster shaming and offering coq au vin recipes. One pro-Payo online poster admonished, if you don't like animals, move to Mars. His rescue family says it's trying to find him another home before the city of Miami Chicken Buster squad comes to get him. Yes, that's a real thing. They've caught 15,000 illegal chickens in the city so far. So move over, Florida Man. I love you, Miami, rogue roosters and all.

(SOUNDBITE OF VERSION OF THE CHICKEN DANCE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.