A duck was put to sleep after being found near a canal with a crossbow arrow through its body.
The wounded bird was spotted by a member of the public near the canal alongside the B816 in Bonnybridge in the Falkirk Council area on Saturday.
It was said to be “dragging itself in and out of the water” and taken to a local vet, where the duck’s injuries were described as “extensive”.
The Scottish SPCA was alerted to the find and is now appealing for more information about the incident, with the animal welfare charity “unsure of the circumstances surrounding the arrow”.
Inspector Andrew Gray said: “A passer-by alerted us to the duck, which was in considerable distress and dragging itself in and out of the water as it was unable to walk.
“The duck was rushed to a local vet to be examined but sadly the bird’s injuries were too extensive and the difficult decision was made to put it to sleep.
“We are unsure of the circumstances surrounding the arrow but we are keen to find the person or persons responsible.
“Birds, including ducks, are protected by law and any attempt to injure or kill them is a criminal offence.
“We are working closely with our colleagues at Police Scotland on this case to try and determine what happened.”
Constable Laura Robertson, Forth Valley wildlife officer, added: “Inquiries are ongoing and we are asking anyone with information to contact the Scottish SPCA or to call police on 101, quoting reference number 2684 of June 27.
“This was a completely reckless and inconsiderate act on a defenceless animal, and we are urging members of the public with information in connection to come forward.”
Calls can also be made confidentially to the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.