A stranded cow has been shot dead by police in Tweed Heads northern NSW after torrential rain and flooding caused it to be washed away from its farmland some 30km away.
As communities in Queensland and northern NSW grapple with widespread flood damage, wildlife and cattle are being swept away from their homes and ending up on suburban streets around the state.
The brown cow was first spotted on Duranbah beach on the border of Queensland and NSW on Tuesday, and it's believed to have travelled down the Tweed River from the Murwillumbah area, more than 30km away.
It's believed the cow was spooked by the growing crowds trying to contain the animal, which caused it to "run down a number of suburban streets" a representative from Farm Animal Rescue said.
Police shoot dead cow: 'Unacceptable'
Police were reportedly notified after Farm Animal Rescue spent 13 hours trying to contain the animal and bring it to safety at a nearby sanctuary.
But after becoming "agitated" and "distressed", NSW police allegedly made the decision to shoot the animal dead near Boyds Bay Bridge at Tweed Heads leaving onlookers outraged.
"We are sorry to report that the cow who got caught up in the floods and lost her baby before ending up on the beach in Tweed Shire, has been shot by the police department," Farm Animal Rescue wrote on their Facebook page.
"Our team spent 13 hours trying to bring her to safety and are beyond distraught. Rest In Peace sweet lady. Nobody can hurt you now."
"They shot the cow in the middle of the road. Unacceptable. Unacceptable Tweed Police," one person fumed on Facebook.
"A harmless cow and they can’t contain it and want to shoot it, after all, it’s endured.
NSW Police told Yahoo News Australia the cow was "humanely euthanised."
"Following significant flooding, police received multiple reports of a cow in distress in the Tweed Heads area yesterday (Tuesday)," a representative said.
"Numerous attempts by police and members of the public to safely contain it were unsuccessful, and the cow was subsequently humanely euthanised."
'We are inconsolable'
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a representative from the non-profit organisation said the team are "inconsolable" after spending 13 hours "against all odds" to bring her to safety.
"When we arrived she was in a very agitated state and these actions further distressed her. As evening came on, we finally had a number of police vehicles assisting and the plan was to drive her down the street to the border cattle dip and yards," they said.
"Sadly halfway down she reversed back behind the police vehicles and they took the decision to shoot her after a senior officer arrived. She was a scared mother who had lost her baby and was alone and isolated, but who had a sanctuary life ahead of her."
The cow was shot five times, according to a Tweed local who took to Facebook to vent. However, this can't be confirmed.
It comes after a number of dead cows were discovered by beachgoers at Mermaid Beach and Broadbeach in Queensland over the past few days, The Courier Mail Reports, along with a mountain of debris from the surrounding area.
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