A probe has been launched into the death of a rare beaver found on Monifieth beach at the weekend.
Environmental groups are investigating whether the animal, washed up on Monifieth beach, Angus, died of natural causes or was the victim of foul play.
The beaver was discovered by a dog walker on Saturday (April 2) and pictures were posted on social media.
Richard Green, who found the dead animal, posted the picture to a social media group that hopes to see the reintroduction of beavers in the local area.
The animal was discovered on a section of the beach occasionally closed to the public due to Ministry of Defence activity, and the image was shared with Friends of the Earth and then passed onto Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
A spokesperson for SNH, John Burrows, said that it was not possible from the image alone to know whether or not the beaver had been shot or if it had died of natural causes.
Mr Burrows pointed out that it is possible that the animal might have drowned, as beavers have been known to do.
There is some concern that beavers are being killed, which is why an investigation into the death of the animal would be carried out.
Farmers and landowners were criticised in January after 21 beavers were found to have been shot, after a series of autopsies were carried out at the request of SNH.
Landowners hit by severe flooding earlier this year complained that the animals, which have no natural predators, damage trees and cause flooding in fields beside rivers and burns.
The Scottish Government were investigating the implications of the re-introduction of beavers in the Tayside area, but said that a decision on the future of beavers in the area would not be made until later in the year.