A Maryland officer shot dead a groundhog that was acting strangely and blocking the traffic on Route 26 in Eldersburg on Sunday.
Authorities say the groundhog was creating chaos on the road.
“It started out as a cute encounter where I thought he was trying to help the little fella. I obviously did not think that it would take this turn and was kind of shocked. I am sure the officer did the best thing in this situation. It is not for me to judge,” witness Justyna Olkowska told the New York Daily News
A spokesman for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Jon Light told the New York Daily News that the deputy was driving when he noticed the groundhog acting abnormally and blocking the traffic.
In the video, the officer can be first seen trying to get the animal off the road. But, when the groundhog starts running, he had to take the unfortunate action.
Here’s is the sheriff’s office’s full statement on the matter: “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.