Police are searching for suspects who are thought to have killed a deer while trespassing in a farmer’s field.
Officers were called to patch of land in Navestock Side, near Ongar, on Saturday (February 11) after reports a dead animal had been found.
Police now believe the suspects entered the field in a vehicle and used it to cause damage to the land before hitting the deer, which later died.
Sgt Lisa Cooke of the Brentwood and Epping Forest Community Policing Team said: "The actions of those responsible for this incident are despicable.
“They have not only caused significant damage to crops but have killed a defenceless animal.
"We are taking this matter extremely seriously and are increasing our patrols in the area.
"We would urge any farmers or landowners who have seen anything suspicious of indeed suffered anything similar to contact us.”
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Essex Police via 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111.