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Man booked for shooting and killing cat in Jeju

June 30, 2023 - 17:26 By Lim Jae-seong
The suspect leaves the scene after shooting and killing a cat on June 19 morning in Seogwipo, southern Jeju. (Hondidorang)

A man in his 60s was nabbed by the police for shooting and killing a cat for standing in his way in Jeju.

The police were investigating the man for violating laws on gun safety and animal protection, Jeju Seogwipo Police Station said on Thursday.

The suspect allegedly shot and killed the cat at 7 a.m. on June 19 on a road in Seogwipo, southern Jeju Island. A bullet from a five-millimeter air rifle was found in the cat’s neck.

The gun used by the suspect in the shooting on June 19 in Seogwipo, Jeju. (Seogwipo Police Station)

After the shooting, he fled the scene but was caught by police who received reports from residents surprised to hear five gunshots in the early morning.

The suspect reportedly said during the police interrogation that he had gotten enraged when the cat did not move out of the way even though he had honked his horn.

While the cat was dying in pain, three kittens, thought to belong to the cat, were found in the bushes along the side of the road, according to the Jeju-based animal advocacy group, Hondidorang.

A kitten is spotted near the scene of the shooting the morning of June 19 in Seogwipo, Jeju. (Hondidorang)

The group also revealed a video showing the kittens waiting for their mother to return near the scene.

The police confirmed that the man had taken his rifle stored at the police station on that day to go hunting.

In Korea, it is legal after obtaining permission to hunt wild animals that potentially cause damage to farming. On Jeju Island, such animals include crows, magpies and wild boars. Only individuals with permission to hunt can possess guns, and they must be stored at a designated police station or precinct.

As the suspect signed a declaration that he would give up ownership of his firearms, the police were planning to dispose of two rifles, local media reports said on Thursday.