Three deer at a children's Santa experience in Wicklow have been shot dead at close range.
Staff at a golf club where the event is held every year found the animals when they went to feed them at the weekend.
After the deer were killed, their bodies were dragged across the golf course leaving a trail of blood behind. Workers went looking for the animals on Saturday morning after noticing they were no longer in their pen.
Young visitors have since been told the deer are "resting" ahead of having to fly Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve.