Woman went ‘full Karen’ on men caught sacrificing racing pigeons and chickens

A woman has said she went "full Karen" on two men she caught sacrificing several stolen racing pigeons and chickens.

Staff at Virginia Key Outdoor Center in Florida, US noticed a number of cardboard boxes moving on their own on Monday (June 27) afternoon.

Inside, owner Esther Alonso found eight chickens and 22 pigeons with two men were later found hiding in nearby mangroves.

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When Esther approached the men, she found them chopping the heads off two adult hens and collecting the blood in some form of twisted sacrifice.

She told Miami New Times: "I went full Karen on them. I figured if I said something crazy enough, they'd get scared.

"I told them: 'These chickens are under my protection. You can't come and kill animals here. Ask your god who it is you're dealing with.'"

The men eventually left without the birds, leaving site staff to clean up the bloody mess they left behind.

The centre later shared a video of the rescued birds on Instagram, after which a resident got in touch to explain the pigeons were racing birds that were stolen from him.

Volunteers released them upon his request and 11 of the 22 flew home. He's still missing the others, including one worth $2,000 (£1,645).

Esther took the surviving hens home with her. She noted that their wings were clipped, leading her to believe they too were stolen, hence she's trying to track down their possible owner.

She reckons the men were involved with "Santería", an Afro-Cuban religion practised in the Miami area.

Also known as Lucumí, Santería worship can involve offerings called ebbó being given to ancestral spirits. These can range from food, booze and money to slaughtered animals.

In 1993, the city of Hialeah in Florida passed a law banning such sacrifices. The case eventually went to the US Supreme Court who overruled and allowed Santería practitioners to sacrifice animals.

Anthropologist Martin Tsang told the Miami New Times that, actually, it's difficult to say whether animal sacrifices found in Miami are "1000% Santería".

Regarding the incident at Esther's outdoor centre, he said: "I do not know any bona fide practitioners who would do this — going out to sacrifice in a public space.

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"Sacrifice within the Orisha context is very delicate, very respected, and conducted in a sacred context. It is not entered into lightly."

Regardless of why it was happening, Esther reported the matter to the police.

They have since located one man involved – Dany Machado Gomez. He's been issued with fines totalling $7,500 (£6,170) for seven counts of animal cruelty and two counts of illegal dumping.


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