A red kite has died after being caught in an illegal gin trap.
The RSPCA launched an appeal for information after the bird was found in the trap on Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, on 7 May.
The bird, which is legally protected, was taken to a vet with injuries including broken legs. It was put down to prevent further suffering.
Gin traps are spring-operated and while not illegal to own, they are illegal to set and use.
The RSPCA say the traps are indiscriminate, meaning victims can just as easily be a family pet as a wild animal.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: "The potential consequences of these devices for animals and humans are so severe.
"I shudder to think what could have happened had a toddler, for example, crossed the path of this trap.
"We are following a line of inquiry on this incident but are eager for more information to come to light as to the circumstances behind this illegal trap being put down."
The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares and any traps which cause suffering.
Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal faces an unlimited fine and/or six months in prison, it said
The red kite is legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, meaning it is an offence to take, injure or kill one.