Children in an Ohio community were devastated on Wednesday after they watched an officer shoot a deer that had become so friendly it ate out of people’s hands.
Pictures and video of the deer show the animal playing and posing for photos with people in the town of Clarington. However, an Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife officer seemed determined to put an end to the fun.
After a local resident complained that the deer was eating out of his garden, the wildlife officer began to stalk the deer in an attempt to kill it. While the resident asked only that the deer be relocated, the wildlife officer reportedly insisted that it be shot and killed.
According to resident Shannon Lee, the officer followed the deer through people’s yards for 20 to 30 minutes before finally shooting it in front of her two daughters.
“They saw us sitting on the porch,” Lee said. “They didn’t say, ‘Would you please take your kids inside? You know, this is what’s going to happen.’ No warning at all until we heard the gunshot.”
In a statement, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources stated that wild animals are unpredictable and capable of becoming aggressive or dangerous.
“The outcome of this situation is an unfortunate reminder that it is in the best interest of humans and animal that wild animals remain in the wild,” the statement reads.