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Mutilated Birds Found In Manhattan Beach Believed to Be a Santería Ritual

1:35 PM PDT on September 30, 2022

Photo via ABC7.

Nearly a dozen birds were found, some without heads and others mutilated, were found in the sand and floating along the shorelines of Manhattan Beach on Wednesday morning, ABC7 reports.  Authorities believe the incident was part of a Santería ritual.

Cue Sublime's iconic opening lyrics to their hit song....

Witnesses reported seeing the birds along Marine and 26th streets on Wednesday morning and say that they have not seen anything like this.  "I've been here for 12 years and have never seen this before; it's totally weird," said one concerned resident in the ABC news segment.  Another younger surfer interviewed for the segment said he was also "disgusted" by the dead birds. ABC's video showed several clips of what appeared to be pigeons, chickens, and ducks strewn across the beach.

Sacrificing birds is a traditional practice in the Santería religion, going back to the 17th century in Cuba's African roots, where the religion is believed to have started. While American pop-culture has exotified Santería as an occult practice, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recognizes that roughly 70 percent of Cubans openly and freely observe one or more religious practices associated with Santería. The religion is woven into Cuban art, food, music, and dance. In 2020, a group dressed all in white performed a Santería ritual in front of the LAPD headquarters in the Historic Core downtown neighborhood to honor all who have been killed by police.

Nonetheless, the Manhattan Beach Police Department along with animal control services are now investigating.

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