Buddhist Monk – Saviour of Chickens!

by Luke, in Thailand
25th August, 2009

Slow start at the hill tribe but incredible scenery. Nestled at the top of amountain overlooking Chaing Mai, we passed through some low lying clouds on the drive up. The people living there speak a slightly different dialogue than those in the rest of the region and were fairly non plussed as to why I was pitching up to treat their animals. I struggled to get a vein on a collapsed pig that we found half dead in a ditch and treated a few dogs but the most interesting case of the day was meeting a Buddhist monk who has lived at the top of the mountain for the last three years and looks after injured chickens that he rescues after chicken fights in the villages.
I removed an imbedded claw from the chest of one of the chickens – it was completely walled off inside it and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I was absolutely amazed at what I removed and at first I didn’t want to cut into the swelling because I was convinced it must be a bit of bone from an old break. The monk knew otherwise and encouraged me to do so – he had seen it before. Realising he had probably treated many chickens in this condition, I trusted him and incised down to the mass. The reason he couldn’t remove that particular claw was when they were deep in the muscle he had no way of closing wounds afterwards and lacked the forceps to probe around. I donated a pair of crocodile forceps to his cause and a few meds suitable for chickens. As a devout Buddhist he is forbidden from showing emotion but I think he was pleased.
It has to be one of the most remarkable cases I have come across and it’s fantastic to meet people like the monk who really do care and have a personal quest to do what they can in hard situations.

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