Police have launched an investigation into the shooting of a group of grey seals on Orkney.
Twelve dead animals were found on the shore in Orkney
Officers acting on a tip-off found 12 of the animals dead on the shoreline at Burwick Ferry on South Ronaldsay on Friday afternoon.
A local animal welfare expert said up to 10 pregnant females, a male and a juvenile died in the incident.
Northern Constabulary were called to the scene and are carrying out local inquiries into the animals' deaths.
The chairman of Orkney Seal Rescue, Ross Flett, believed the seals had possibly been shot by fishermen wanting to protect fish stocks.
He added: "I received a call from a member of the public and went down to see them for myself.
"There were 10 pregnant females - so that's 10 more grey seals that were killed because the pups didn't even get the chance to be born.
"In the pupping season, they come into the shallow waters and it just makes them easy targets.
"It's horrible, there's absolutely no need for it."