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A buck found shot by a crossbow while wandering in an Esquimalt neighbourhood has been put down by police.

Police were called to the area of Bryden Court Friday morning after neighbours spotted the buck, which they said commonly frequents the area, with a bolt lodged in its rear left leg.

Officers from Victoria police's Esquimalt division responded and used a patrol rifle to put down the deer and end its suffering.

Neighbours were contacted by police before the rifle was fired to warn them

The deer was picked up by city work crews at around 10 a.m.

Neighbours said they were upset and concerned that someone would intentionally fire a crossbow at the animal.

They were worried that someone would be as reckless as to fire a crossbow in the city, something that concerns conservation officers as well.

"It's pretty rare to have a beautiful five-point buck around a neighbourhood like that, or really anywhere," said conservation officer Sgt. Scott Norris. "Someone decided that that was a great trophy and decided to take a shot at it and it's absolutely despicable."

Victoria police spokesman Const. Matt Rutherford told CTV News that the person who fired the crossbow could face charges.

"Potentially there could be weapons charges or animal cruelty charges depending on the circumstances," said Rutherford.