Pregnant beaver shot and killed in Perthshire
The Scottish SPCA has appealed for information after a pregnant beaver was shot and killed in Perthshire.
The animal welfare and rescue charity said the beaver's body was discovered on a riverbank between Crieff and Comrie.
New legislation making beavers a protected species in Scotland was introduced on 1 May.
It is illegal to kill beavers or destroy established dams and lodges without a licence.
An undercover officer for the charity's special investigations unit said the beaver had been killed "in a manner that caused unnecessary suffering."
The officer said: "The beaver was shot and could be proven to have suffered significantly before being killed.
"The legislation states that all attempts should be made to protect the entire family group and avoid lethal control during pregnancy or kit dependency period."
The officer said that the charity would investigate all reports of the killing of beavers "where welfare has been compromised."