A white-tailed deer named Bucky - who was known to residents in the area of a local golf course - is dead and there are accusations of animal cruelty.

There are conflicting accounts about what happened to Bucky, who was often seen around the Pleasant Valley Golf and Country Club near St. Thomas.

“He would come up behind golfers and nudge them. People would have to distract him so they could keep continuing to play golf because...he wanted to be around the people, right," said Rebecca Greenlaw, an assistant manager at Pleasant Valley.

Staff say when Bucky was young he was found injured by a nearby resident, who helped nurse him back to health.

Bucky wasn’t afraid of people and the golf course had a Facebook competition for the best photo with him.

"A lot of the time we were taking pictures anyway, so we thought why not spread the word of this amazing animal that's around the course,” Greenlaw says.

Then tragedy struck last Thursday. Bucky made his way to nearby New Sarum public school and was seen at the fence.

Fearing for children’s safety, school officials tried to shoo Bucky away.

He ended up on the property of Jay Dee’s Small Engine Repairs. A noose was put around his neck and he later died, with people claiming he was killed intentionally.

Jay Dees representatives declined to speak on the record but said they didn’t intend to kill the deer. A company statement says, “The OPP and Animal Control were called and asked the parties involved to contain the animal until they could come and put it down."

It also says, "We are sorry for the unfortunate outcome of this event."

An independent witness, who didn’t want to be identified, watched what happened and says it didn’t look like those involved were trying to kill the deer, but admits it was difficult to watch.

Greenlaw says what happened to Bucky is hard to come to terms with.

"That is the issue, that he was so trusting and that he died in that cruel way."

The Ministry of Natural Resources was contacted and would only say they can’t comment on ongoing investigations.