In response to significant public interest in this incident Lincolnshire Police is issuing a further statement to try address some of the concerns people have expressed.
The animal’s presence in a residential area posed a serious risk to safety. A significant amount of resources were committed to containing the animal. The intention was to safely remove the animal from the area without destroying it if at all possible.
After more than two hours of working towards this aim, it became apparent that it was not achievable. Several options, including sedation, were considered. The RSPCA and the owner of the animal were consulted.
As more members of the public turned up to watch the incident, prompted by online commentary on the situation, the animal became increasingly distressed and there were fears that it would jump further fences and re-enter a residential area.
Reports that some shots missed the animal are incorrect. Four shots were fired and all hit their target.
This is a rural county and we deal with dozens of similar incidents every year without them ending in the death of the animal. Generally these animals escape onto roads in remote locations. In this type of situation the road can be closed and the animal can be herded to safety. On this occasion the animal was roaming in a built up residential area and posed a serious risk to safety. In a situation like this the preservation of human life takes precedence.