A young security dog at the Auckland Airport in New Zealand was shot and killed after it escaped its handler and ran loose for more than three hours on the tarmac, disrupting at least 16 flights.
Named Grizz, the dog was being trained to detect explosives by the New Zealand Aviation Security Service (Avsec) and was about six months from graduating.
Police Inspector Tracy Phillips said in a statement that the security service and airport staff had made considerable efforts over several hours to recapture the dog, and had called in police as a last resort.
"This is not an outcome which anyone wanted," Phillips said.
Airport spokeswoman Lisa Mulitalo said the 10-month-old bearded collie and German short-haired pointer cross was only killed as a last resort.
"They did everything they could, but unfortunately the dog had to be shot," she said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. "We're really upset about it."
Radio New Zealand said Grizz had run from its handler when it was being loaded into a van and slipped through a security gate when it was opened to let a truck through.
Airport staff unsuccessfully used toys, other dogs, food, and a range of handlers to try to coax the dog away from the tarmac, the radio station reported.
"All efforts to capture the dog were exhausted and the airport company had no option but to request police to shoot the dog," Avsec spokesman Mike Richards said, according to news.com.au.
"The handler and Avsec are naturally upset but do understand there were no other options. ... The dog was not on the tarmac at the time."
He said an investigation is underway to determine what spooked Grizz and if it will have any implications for ongoing training.
Many people in New Zealand were upset that the dog was killed and some questioned why it couldn't have been tranquilized instead.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.