This is the type of story you can’t run on April 1st because no one would believe it … so here it is on April 2nd. A group of monks in Thailand have adopted a headless chicken that has been kept alive for 10 days (as of this writing), first by the person who found it and then by the veterinarian he took it to.
Thai media reports that the story comes from the Ratchaburi Province in central Thailand where a Facebook post by Noppong Thitthammo contained pictures of the headless chicken. While he does not say if he was the one who found the bird or took it to the veterinarian, Thitthammo’s post says the chicken ended up at a clinic in the Mueang Ratchaburi district of Ratchaburi Province where the vet knew how to feed it by inserting food into its neck along with antibiotics to treat prevent infections in what is pretty much an open wound.
Is treating headless chickens covered in veterinary school? It’s possible, but information about what to do can also be found in most old “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” collections or at the museum in New York where the tale of Mike the Headless Rooster is perhaps one of Ripley’s most famous. On September 10, 1945, Colorado farmer Lloyd Olsen chopped the head off of a five-and-a-half-month-old rooster, only to see it run off and peck at the ground as if it still had a head, beak and brain. Olsen attempted to put food and water in the hole that was left and was shocked when it all went down and the rooster waited for more. He named it Mike and, in true American entrepreneurial fashion, took the rooster (and its head in a jar) on the road as Mike the Wonder Chicken, making so much money in 18 months (at 25 cents per view) that he had the bird insured for $10,000 – a huge sum in those days.
Unfortunately, Mike choked on a kernel of corn and died, but not before being analyzed at the University of Utah, where it was determined that the bird survived losing his head because most of a chicken’s brain is in the back of its skull, which Olsen’s axe missed, leaving an estimated 80 percent still attached to the brain stem. The mystery of how Mike didn’t bleed to death was solved in an autopsy when a blood clot was found.
So, how did the Topless Thai True Warrior (not as catchy as Mike the Wonder Chicken but its only been two weeks) survive? The videos (seen here and here) show that the headless neck is in pretty bad shape, implying the head was lost to an animal rather than a human with a sharp cutting tool. The bird was fortunate enough to have been taken quickly to veterinarian Supakadee Arun Thong who, for whatever the reason, knew how to treat it and feed it. Then the bird was doubly fortunate to have been decapitated in a country loaded with temples filled with good-hearted monks looking for something to do besides chant, pray and shave each other’s’ heads. With that kind of medical and spiritual care, who knows how long it might live?
More importantly, who knows how much money the monks can make putting him on display at today’s freak show prices?