Some Maryland residents are upset after video posted to social media showed a deputy shoot a groundhog that was blocking traffic.
According to WBAL-TV, a Carroll County sheriff’s deputy confronted a groundhog that he said was creating a hazard by blocking traffic in both directions due to being in the roadway.
The video, which quickly went viral on Facebook, showed the woodchuck running toward the deputy instead of away, and then he shoots. The deputy reported that the groundhog was not acting normally.
“Believing the groundhog to be sick or injured, the deputy shot the groundhog and put the animal down for the public’s safety,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.
However, several residents were concerned about the killing of the groundhog and the way the situation was handled by the deputy.
“Right now it’s spring. Everything’s coming out and mating and so we are seeing a lot of wildlife and human conflict right now,” said Karen Baker from the Carroll County Humane Society.
Baker explained that with rural and urban areas so close together, under normal circumstances an animal will take its easiest route of escape when it’s threatened or frightened.
The Humane Society retrieved the groundhog, but no testing will be done since it did not have any known contact with humans or domestic animals.
Experts say people who encounter animals acting strangely should call animal control.