Three otters have been found in Haddington, sparking a police investigation.
A member of the public discovered the animals within a net trap in the River Tyne, next to Haddington Golf Course and contacted police.
It is believed the otters may have drowned after becoming trapped in the net, which may have been used to catch eel or crayfish.
A partnership investigation is now underway between Police Scotland and the Scottish SPCA into the circumstances surrounding these creatures’ deaths and anyone who can assist with this enquiry is asked to come forward.
Wildlife Crime Officer, PC Gavin Ross said: “Examination of the otters confirms that they were an adult female and two young and it appears they became trapped within the net and were unable to escape.
“Using a net trap for catching eels and crayfish is illegal and we would urge members of the public who remembers seeing anyone fishing in this manner to contact police immediately.
“The death of these animals will be of great distress to many members of the local community, particularly as their return to our rivers is an environmental success story.
“Anyone who has information relevant to our ongoing investigation should contact police immediately.”
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We are investigating the deaths of three otters in the Haddington area along with Police Scotland.
“Enquiries are on-going at this stage and we would ask anyone with information to contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 or Police Scotland on 101.”
Those with information can contact Police Scotland on 101 or alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.