Policeman shoots groundhog dead as it tries to cross busy road

'The deputy then put the animal down for the public's safety,' sheriff's office says

Harry Cockburn
Sunday 13 May 2018 15:26 BST
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US Policeman shoots groundhog dead as it tries to cross busy road

A policeman in America pulled out his gun and shot dead a groundhog that was trying to cross a road after the officer tried and failed to herd it to safety.

The incident, in Sykesville, Maryland, was filmed by a driver and shows traffic at a standstill as the police attempt to move the rodent out of the road.

When the animal runs towards the policeman, he pulls out his gun and shoots, injuring it. It continues trying to move in the same direction across the road, and he shoots it again.

The sheriff's office said the animal was “creating a hazard”, and that the policeman had shot the groundhog “believing [it] to be either sick or injured".

The statement said: “The deputy was travelling on Rt 26 in the area of White Rock Road when he observed traffic backing up along the road. He found that the groundhog in question was walking into the roadway, causing vehicles to stop and creating a hazard.

“He got out of his vehicle to assess, and as he tried to direct the groundhog off of the roadway, he realised that it was not responding as expected for an animal that was not being cornered or trapped. Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured, the deputy then put the animal down for the public's safety.”

The woman who filmed the incident, Justyna Olkowska, posted the footage on Facebook, writing: “This just happened. And I’m soooo distraught!!!! Like I cannot believe I just witnessed this.”

She added: “If you’re not an animal lover, you won’t understand my pain.

“Sykesville Police shooting Groundhogs in a head in broad daylight. Please share.

"I may be wrong and he might have been doing his job but all I kept thinking was what if my little niece and nephew were in the car with me seeing this.”

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