Plymouth deer 'shot in head with crossbow'

A wild deer has reportedly been shot in the head with a crossbow in what police have called a "barbaric" act.

Police and RSPCA officers said it was possible the animal had been wounded and was still alive.

They have searched Plymbridge Woods near Plymouth in Devon after the incident was reported on Sunday.

A 25-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, has been released on bail until 7 February.

'Extremely dangerous'

Officers are appealing for help from people living in the area to report any sightings of injured deer.

Sgt Ryan Canning, Plymouth's wildlife crime officer, said: "It is barbaric and it's also extremely dangerous.

"This is public woodland on a Sunday morning. There's always children and dog walkers around."

He said people should not approach the animal, thought to be one of a herd in the area which is close to Dartmoor National Park.

"We know that the deer has a crossbow bolt in its head, but we don't know the severity of the injury," he said.

"It's possible that we could still save the animal if we found it.

"But if it is deceased we would need to recover the bolt."

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