VANDALS snapped off the antlers of a bronzed deer worth $5000 at Bendigo Botanic Gardens on New Year's Day about 12.30am, police said.
Bendigo Police Senior Constable Matt Lewis said the antlers had been broken off at the wielded joins of the statue in White Hills.
"It would have taken a fair amount of effort to break them off," he said.
"They haven't been cut off, they have been snapped.
"We have CCTV footage of the incident.
"The footage shows four males in their early 20s in the vicinity at that time.
"The gardens were locked up at that time so we suspect people have had to climb a gate.
"The statue was recently restored.
"The criminal damage was reported on Friday afternoon.
Police ask anyone with information to contact Bendigo Police Station on 5448 1300 and speak to Senior Constable Lewis.
"If you have heard people talking about committing this crime or if you know information about it, please contact police," Senior Constable Lewis said.
If anyone has information regarding other crimes contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au