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GRAPHIC: Deputy sheriff guns down groundhog after animal charges at him

GRAPHIC: Deputy sheriff guns down groundhog after animal charges at him
Posted at 6:51 PM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 16:27:26-04

(RNN) – A Carroll County Sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a groundhog on a Maryland highway in Sykesville is under fire after someone who saw the incident posted the video on social media.

“This just happened. And I’m soooo distraught!!!!” Justyna Olkowska said on Facebook. “Like I cannot believe I just witnessed this. If you’re not an animal lover, you won’t understand my pain ...”

During the nearly two-minute-long video, the groundhog charges toward the deputy several times. The officer shoots animal once and then a second time when the animal gets up again and turns toward him.

Watch the video here

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy stopped traffic because the groundhog was 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,” a statement said. “Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured, the deputy then put the animal down for the public’s safety.”

Olkowska said the incident was hard to watch.

“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,” she said.

The video has more than 50,000 views.

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