Police have appealed for witnesses after an unleashed dog attacked a swan which later died in an Aberdeenshire town.
The bird was savaged by the golden brown dog, thought to be a labrador or a retriever, at about 5.15pm on the banks of the river Ythan in Ellon.
The owners called for their pet, however it did not respond and the swan was left badly injured.
Although the creature was cared for overnight by the Glen Ythan veterinary centre in Methlick and the Ellon-based animal rescue centre New Arc, it later died.
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Keith Marley from New Arc said: “We attended within about five minutes of the call coming in.
“The swan was on an island in the middle of the river in Ellon, close to the bridge.
“Luckily, a local resident had a pair of waders handy, and Kevin, who is part of the team, made his way to the swan and got it into the van.
“Sadly, it was almost a foregone conclusion when we first saw the poor bird.
“The injuries were just too severe. We always do our best and give every animal the best opportunity possible, but sadly the injuries were just too severe for the vets.
“The owners were quite aware that their dog had attacked the swan. Now I’m not blaming the dog in the slightest, because it’s just in its nature, but if you’re going to have your dog off the lead you need to make sure you can control it, otherwise you are an irresponsible owner.
“It was off the leash, and the owners saw it run into the river after the swan. They called it a couple of times, but the dog ignored them.
“The horrific thing about this, and what I really can’t wrap my head around, is that the owners just walked away.”
Ellon sergeant Andy Sawers has now appealed for anyone who saw the incident to phone the police.
He said: “Sadly, the swan has subsequently died.
“We are carrying out inquiries into the circumstances and would appeal for anyone who witnessed the incident or who as any information to contact police on 101.”