Scottish SPCA are appealing for information after three swans were found dead in Aberdeenshire.
The birds were discovered inside bags in the River Dee.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity was alerted by a member of the public who spotted a bag near the Robert Gordons School of Architecture in February.
On March 3, police contacted the charity after they had been called to two further bags which were found approximately 328 feet from Morrison’s Bridge.
Upon examination, each bag contained a swan, two of which had been shot. Two of the bodies had flesh missing.
Scottish SPCA inspector Watson said: “These three swans were found dead in a close proximity to each other.
“Due to the circumstances, we believe that the same person is responsible for the deaths of all three birds. We would like to find out who this is and the reason the swans ended up in this state.
“Two had gunshot wounds and two had flesh missing which may have been used for meat.
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“If anyone in the area has any information, we would urge you to call our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
Swans are a protected bird under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and anyone found guilty of harming or killing a swan can expect to be subject to a criminal investigation.