A rare white deer was shot dead by police after it was spotted running through the streets of a town in England.
People in Bootle, north-west England were shocked when they saw the wild animal roaming about on Sunday morning.
The RSPCA said it had advised police to “leave the deer as it would make its own way back home” eventually.
But Merseyside Police said officers decided to euthanise the deer after growing concerns it might be dangerous for motorists and pedestrians.
The force said it first received reports of the fallow buck running along various roads at about 08:45am on Sunday.
Armed response officers were able to secure it on an industrial estate off Melling Road.
A veterinary surgeon was called to monitor the animal’s welfare and assist attempts to control it.
However, police said they were “unable to get assistance” after making enquiries “to find an organisation who could assist with recovering the deer safely”.
The animal became distressed, police said.
“There was no option to let the deer wander as it could be a danger to motorists and members of the public in the area, particularly as the hours of darkness approached,” a spokesman said.
“As a result a decision was made in the early evening to euthanise the deer.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said that while the deer could have been sedated “this needs to be done with caution in a public area such as this one, as the deer could startle and run when hit by the dart”.