I have tried to put the incident of the bull shooting out of my mind ever since I read the articles, but as a farmer who has great respect and love for animals, it won’t go away (“‘No fairness’: Farmers decry fatal police shooting of bull in Skowhegan,” April 4).

It’s apparent how Hercules the bull got into this really sickening situation in Skowhegan — there was undoubtedly a mistake made on the owner’s part for not having a safe rig to transport Hercules, and anybody can make a mistake.

In my opinion, the entire situation was handled all wrong. The police chief was told that help was on the way from people who knew how to capture this bull safely. Poor Hercules wasn’t armed with a weapon to hurt anyone; he was scared at the time he was shot, and he was already so exhausted that he could do no harm.

If the chief had just listened to some of the farmers there, they would have known to build a makeshift coral with vehicles of any kind, put some feed in the middle and let Hercules slowly walk in, calm down and be caught by people who are used to dealing with this. All the chief had to do was keep people away and keep the noise level down.

I guess the chief failed to realize he wasn’t dealing with a 5- or 6-year-old, 2,000-pound raging bull, but rather a yearling baby bull who, through no fault of his own, made a mistake and just wanted help to get back to what was normal for him.

I hope on some nice spring or summer morning the chief gets to opportunity to pass by a pasture lush with green grass, see an animal similar to Hercules and realize he was the one that robbed Hercules of his life — and a farmer of part of his livelihood.

Albert E. “Sonny” Barry


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