Lone Groundhog Shot In 'Standoff' With Police Officer

The video went viral after it was shared on Facebook
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Groundhog Shot By Police Officer

The sheriff's office said the traffic interruption was a 'hazard'

A US police
officer fatally shot a groundhog after it crossed a road in Maryland last
Sunday.

'Caught on
video'

The
incident was filmed by Facebook user Justyna Olkowska, and posted on social
media
.

The video
has since been shared nearly 2000 times, and reposted by CBS News.

'Standoff'

The footage shows a groundhog in front of backed
up traffic in what has been described as a 'standoff' with a policeman.

After the officer approached the groundhog a
number of times, the groundhog ran toward him.

The officer drew his gun and shot the animal
once and - after watching it writhe around in pain - shot it a second time.

Groundhog News

One veterinarian said she would have handled the situation differently

'Distraught'

Olkowska expressed
shock
at what had happened, noting that she was left feeling 'distraught' after
the event.

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

'Hazard'

Statements from the sheriff's office indicate
that the officer thought the groundhog was behaving strangely, and that it was 'creating
a hazard' by interrupting traffic.

It also said that 'believing the groundhog to
be either sick or injured, the deputy then put the animal down for the public's
safety' - but made no mention of whether animal aid or animal control organizations were informed prior to the groundhog's death.

A trained veterinarian told news outlet KARE 11, that were a groundhog running toward her she would simply 'get out of its way'.