Cop shoots and kills a groundhog that was trying to cross a busy road
The incident was filmed by a driver and shows traffic at a standstill as the policeman attempts to move the rodent out of the road
After a policeman encountered a groundhog that was trying to cross the road, he tried to herd it to safety but in vain. And so, he pulled out his gun and shot him dead.
Police in Carroll County responded to a call at Liberty Road on Sunday afternoon to find a groundhog running across the asphalt. When they tried to move the animal, it charged back in an attempt to attack the policeman, reported The Independent UK.
The tragic incident was caught on camera by a driver in Sykesville, Maryland. The footage shows cars at a standstill as the officer attempts to move the rodent out of the busy traffic.
What began as a comical mishap quickly turned disturbing when a police officer — initially trying to get a groundhog out of the road — took out his gun and shot it in front of a line of cars. https://t.co/s2Qu8JZ92R pic.twitter.com/upat4eYnIr— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 8, 2018
The animal charges towards the police officer while he attempts to lure it out of the road. In self-defense and following protocol, the officer pulls out his gun and shoots the groundhog, injuring it.
The rodent then tries to move in the same direction across the road, but the policeman decides to shoot it again for safety, this time killing it.
Justifying the officer's actions, the sheriff's office asserted that the groundhog was causing disturbance and "creating a hazard." They even claimed that the policeman shot the animal “believing [it] to be either sick or injured".
Carroll Co Sheriff's Office says deputy shot groundhog on road in front of traffic because animal wasn't responding as expected pic.twitter.com/xD4VQVrqF3— Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) May 7, 2018
While the first shot injured the animal slightly, as the groundhog was able to move slowly after the hit, the second shot appeared to put the rodent out of its misery, however, leaving it twitching and clinging on to life.
The video posted on Facebook went viral and garnered severe reactions from social media users. In response, Carroll County Sheriff's Office released a statement to WBAL-TV.
The statement said: “The deputy was traveling 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 realized 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.”
Karen Baker, the executive director of Carroll County, said the groundhog's behavior was "unusual". She said that “Under normal circumstances, an animal will take its easiest route of escape when it’s threatened or frightened."
“Normally, an animal will run from humans, especially if you’re making yourself large, you’re stomping your feet, you’re loud.”
During a conversation with the Carroll County Times. Cpl. Jon Light said the footage clearly indicates that they groundhog was coming after the officer with bad intentions.
“At this point in time, the animal was not acting as a normal animal would,” Cpl. Light said. “It is within our policy to dispose of any animal that could pose a health threat.”
“You see the groundhog coming after the officer. At this point in time, the animal was not acting as a normal animal would. It is within our policy to dispose of any animal that could pose a health threat,” spokesman Cpl. Jon Light said. Story/video: https://t.co/o0RtZKmkmO— Carroll County Times (@CCTNews) May 7, 2018
Justyna Olkowska, the woman who filmed the whole affair, posted the video on Facebook, saying: “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.”
As of now, the name of the sheriff’s deputy who shot the animal has not been revealed.
There were several reactions on Twitter:
Warning, groundhogs: Carrol County police will shoot you dead if you do not comply with instructions.— Sean Gallagher [aka ⚡️🐀] of @ArsTechnica (@thepacketrat) May 8, 2018
Obviously the animal wasn’t hurt.. looked more scared and disoriented.. doesn’t this county or city have an animal control office that would have been more equipped to handle this defenseless animal? Shame on this officer. Should be charged w animal cruelty.— Dave Holmes (@CollinTaylorInc) May 8, 2018
There's like....bigger fish to fry in the world of policing I guess but a Westminster police officer treating a five pound groundhog like a Walking Dead zombie is amazing— Max Robinson (@DieRobinsonDie) May 8, 2018
Sorry, but watching this video, as someone who has worked in the outdoor ed industry for 20 years, he was right. This groundhog was not well, and he did the right thing. This is what has to happen when an animal that is normally docile is aggressive— Maple Bear (@jazzyjen7777) May 9, 2018