Remains of pregnant deer found dumped in bin bags in Ellon
The remains of two pregnant deer and a fawn have been found dumped in bin bags near a car park in Aberdeenshire.
The Scottish SPCA was alerted to the discovery on Golf Road in Ellon by a member of the public on 7 May.
It is believed the animals were illegally killed in a poaching-related incident.
The Scottish SPCA, which confirmed the deer had been dismembered, appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
Insp Fiona McKenzie said: "The black bags contained the remains of two pregnant adult females and a fawn. They had been illegally killed in a way that would have caused a great deal of suffering.
"A post-mortem of the deer showed that one of them had a broken neck and a shot wound to the head, however we're unsure which would have caused her death.
"The other female had been shot and had her head removed, which was not present amongst the remains. Her uterus had also been cut open, exposing her dead young.
"We suspect the deer were killed in a poaching-related incident and although deer can be killed lawfully, it is closed season which is given to female deer to protect their welfare and that of their young. Closed season takes place from 1 April to 31 October.
"We are urging members of the public with information about this incident to contact us as soon as possible. Calls are treated in the strictest confidence and can be left anonymously."
Calls can be made to the Scottish SPCA's animal helpline on 03000 999 999.