Police were slammed yesterday after shooting dead an escaped cow in a primary school car park.
The Belgian blue went on the run for almost three hours after fleeing its field.
Armed officers eventually cornered the terrified animal outside a primary school.
Marksmen were ordered to shoot to kill and opened fire with a high-powered rifle.
But the cow survived the first two shots and did not die until it was hit by two further bullets 15 minutes later.
Horrified locals accused police of animal cruelty.
Witness Russell Chappell said: “It was shot twice, then left for 15 minutes before the third shot put it down.
"It kicked its back legs for another five or 10 minutes.
“The so-called marksman was less than 100 yards away. It was a joke.”
A Facebook page called “Grantham runaway cow RIP” has already attracted more than 2,000 comments.
Theo Charity wrote: “I can’t believe they shot a cow. It’s not like it was a ravenous bear.”
Donna Lawson added: “I am disgusted. What happened to tranquilizer darts?”
A police patrol followed the cow for four miles through Grantham, Lincs, after it escaped at around 3pm on Monday.
They say it charged members of the public, including a child, before leaping a fence into the school car park. The 170 pupils had been evacuated.
Supt Phil Vickers said: “Our priority was for public safety. It is regrettable and sad that the incident ended as it did.
“We tried everything to capture the animal but it became increasingly distressed, aggressive and unpredictable.”