Local law enforcement sprang into action when a Belgian blue cow was reported as escaped from a field not far from Grantham, England at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Monday.
Lincolnshire Police sent four sharpshooters, five unarmed officers, two civilian police staffers and a sergeant, reports The Daily Mail. There were five patrol cars. There was also a police van.
A police superintendent, a tactical consultant and three additional support staffers supervised the overwhelming show of force from headquarters.
The police battalion pursued the beast for four miles down several residential roads and streets as it became more and more destructive and distraught. The animal bounded over fences and rushed in the direction of several different people, says The Lincolnite, a local newspaper.
At about 5:00 p.m., the bovine menace jumped a fence and ended up in the parking lot of Belton Lane Community Primary School in Grantham. That’s where the dramatic siege reached its climax.
The 170 students who attend the school had left for the day (after they had been evacuated to areas free of cows on the loose). Only a few staffers and teachers remained, says the Daily Mail.
Police set up a perimeter. Then, two of the sharpshooters hunkered down on top of a van and carefully took aim with high-powered rifles.
The first two shots didn’t bring the cow down. Some witnesses asserted that the snipers missed, reports the Mail. However, the police disputed those allegations.
Whatever the case, the police moved the van closer. After two more shots, the cow had departed this vale of tears.
A Lincolnshire police representative confirmed to the Mail that the cow’s owner had authorized the shooting. Police also spoke to the RSPCA, a leading animal welfare charity in the United Kingdom.
“We tried everything we could to capture the animal but it became increasingly distressed, aggressive and unpredictable,” said police superintendent Phil Vickers. “Our first priority at all times was for public safety.”
Nevertheless, not everyone was happy.
At least one Facebook page, Grantham Runaway Cow RIP, has been set up for people who disagree with the killing.
“I think the incident with the cow yesterday was disgusting and, if they managed to lock it in the school grounds, then why couldn’t a vet be called to sedate it?” wrote Facebook user Jackie Smith.
“On the plus side, Lincolnshire Police are having a big BBQ this Thursday,” joked another Facebook user, Mike Macey.