Beloved Kidnapped Chicken Gets Funeral in Brazilian Town

Written by Stephen Messenger

Each day, an estimated 100 million chickens are killed throughout the world, with most meeting an unceremonious end to their unappreciated little lives. For one particular chicken in Brazil, however, whose feathered existence was needlessly cut short recently, quite the opposite is true — not because she was so special, but simply because she was loved.

Five years ago in the town of Patos, retiree Genecira de Oliveira and her daughter helped hatch what would become their new pet — a fluffy young chick they named Rafinha. And although she was by all accounts not your typical animal companion, the Oliveiras doted upon the chicken like she truly was a member of the family, earning the bird a pleasant reputation in the community.

But sadly, not everyone looked at Rafinha as a vessel of affection.

Last week, a thief broke into the Oliveira’s home and chicken-napped their beloved bird. The family’s story and heartfelt appeals for Rafinha’s safe return captured headlines and made local news, but soon hope was lost. Police were able to track down the perpetrator, who reportedly sold the chicken as poultry in exchange for drugs.

Faced with this loss, the Oliveiras decided to organize a symbolic burial for their beloved pet.

“People may even find this funny situation, but they don’t know how much we are suffering without our chicken because she was very special to us,” Genecira de Oliveira told the journal Paraiba. “Making this funeral for Rafinha hardly expresses what she represented in our lives in these five years.”

The family soon learned that they weren’t alone in celebrating the life of their rather unorthodox pet Rafinha. With the help of some media attention, around 2,000 residents of Patos, including the Mayor, gathered in a lively funeral procession to pay their last respects to a chicken.

And though the whole event was at times lighthearted (particularly for a region where eating meat is part of daily life), there’s little doubt that a chicken named Rafinha won’t soon be forgotten.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo: law_keven/flickr

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Lorna W.
Lorna W.3 years ago

How is this funny? That poor family, so sorry for their loss. :( Drug addicts should be tested on, not animals.

Lucy Koch
Lucy Koch3 years ago

I have a flock of hens and roosters that are all pets. I care for them and pet them and do not treat them as commercial or industrial profit. They eat bread, yogourt, sour cream, fruits vegetables and grain! If any 2 legged monster EVER hurt any of my pets, I would do unto them as they have done unto my pets. A pet is a pet and part of the family. As far as I am concerned, nature takes care of nature, man has no business deeming himself "God" in any way shape or form. I am happy this family had a pet chicken and hope they adopt whatever animal they wish as a pet! ALL animals have feelings...physical and then some! And PS, I despise ignorant people. EDUCATE. DON'T DISCRIMINATE.

ryan burger
Ryan B.3 years ago

Strap a car battery to that guys testicles and repeatedly "start the car." That is the only fitting punishment.

ryan burger
Ryan B.3 years ago

Strap a car battery to that guys testicles and repeatedly "start the car." That is the only fitting punishment.

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch3 years ago

The message in this story is that a member of someone's family was kidnapped, and killed.

It doesn't matter whether it had 2 or 4 legs, or whether it is a mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian.

When something/someone is loved, the pain is not less because it is an animal, rather it is greater because of the unconditional love recieved because of that fact.

Lori E.
Lori E.3 years ago

Well I hope the person who stole her is in jail.

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright3 years ago

There is definitely nothing funny about this situation at all. Some POS broke into someone's home and stole something that belonged to that family. And for what........drugs.

This is a shameful commentary on our world today and a very sad story.
RIP Rafinha....

David V.
David V.3 years ago

so sad..............I don't know how anyone would find this funny. No matter what type of animal, a pet is a pet & part of the family.

Andrew C.
Andrew C.3 years ago

R.I.P. Rafinha. Sorry for your loss.

Maria D'Oporto
Past Member 3 years ago

Glad they honord a belived pet, no matter if it is cat. dog, or wath ever a pet is a family memeber and should be honored as it.