Police officer shoots groundhog dead after failing to shoo it off the highway

A Maryland deputy police officer shot and killed a groundhog as it was trying to cross a road because it had created a hazard, according to the police.

The video posted to social media shows a Maryland deputy shoot a groundhog as it was trying to cross a road. CBS Baltimore reports the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on Old Liberty Rd., near White Rock Rd., when he saw traffic backed up.

A woman who filmed the incident initially saw what seemed to be a humorous incident, suggesting that the groundhog was either suicidal or trying to go home with the officer.

At first, the deputy got out of his vehicle to get the groundhog away from the roadway, but the deputy reported that the groundhog was not acting normally.

“Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured,” the deputy shot the groundhog, and “put the animal down for the public’s safety,” the sheriff’s office said.

The woman who posted the video to Facebook says she was shocked and “did not think that it would take this turn.” But she also said she was “sure the officer did the best thing in this situation.”

The sheriff’s office released the following statement:

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 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.”

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