LITTLETON, Mass. (AP) — Police say they did not take lightly the decision to shoot a bull that escaped from a Massachusetts livestock auction.

A national farm animal protection group on Monday called the animal’s death a “senseless killing.”

Police in Littleton said the bull that had been roaming the area since its escape last Tuesday was heading back toward a busy road Sunday when an officer, concerned for the safety of drivers, fired two shots. The animal’s owner arrived and fired a fatal shot after determining it was suffering and could not be saved.

Susie Coston, national shelter director for Farm Sanctuary, said alternatives such as tranquilizers could have been used to catch the bull. The group offered one of its sanctuaries as a refuge for the animal if it was captured alive.

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