Two swans have been discovered shot dead on a beach in St Combs
The grim discovery was made on March 23 when the bodies of the male and female birds were discovered.
Inspector Fiona Shand said: “A post mortem has revealed the pair died from a massive haemorrhage caused by gunshot trauma.
“We don’t think the swans were residing at the beach but the Loch of Strathbeg nature reserve is nearby and swans are known to live there.”
It is unclear how the bodies of the birds ended up on the beach but it is believed they could have been dumped there or possibly washed ashore.
Inspector Shand said: “This sort of animal cruelty is completely unacceptable and we are urging people with any information to contact us in an effort to trace whoever is responsible.”
The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information relating to the incident.
Causing unnecessary suffering is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. Anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.
Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA’s Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.