The two elk were shot Sunday around 6pm in Lund, southern Sweden, after a frenzied run around the town which lasted several hours.
“They ran out into the middle of the road, but got scared of the cars and turned back into the park,” elk-witness Naib Woldemariam told the local Sydsvenskan newspaper.
People gathered to try and help the panicked animals, warning nearby traffic to slow down in the area; however police were forced to call in professional hunters to deal with the problem.
“They get stressed and confused with all the cars and were too wound up to be tranquilized,” said hunter Lars Celander to the paper.
“We found the first and then heard over the radio about where the other one was. It’s a danger to the public, that’s why it came to this.”
The hunters found the elk in an exhausted state, killed them, and removed the bodies themselves.
Meanwhile, Marie Keismar of the Skåne police explained that the hunters were forced to make the decision as police efforts to drive the elk out of the town can often lead to the animals dying of stress.
She added that tranquilizing the elk was “not on option” as it requires the permission of the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket).
“It’s sad that we had to kill them, but they were on train tracks and on roads. They got easily stressed,” she told the paper.