A US police officer fatally shot a groundhog after it crossed a road in Maryland last Sunday.
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.
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.
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."
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'.
Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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