A badger was found nailed to a tree in North Wales sparking a police investigation.
The animal, protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, had been discovered by a walker in Nantglyn, Denbigh, on Wednesday morning.
A police spokesman said the badger had been nailed to a tree by its feet in an “abhorrent incident”.
PC Richard Smith, of the Rural Crime Team, said: “We can’t yet confirm what the cause of death of this animal was, but we have submitted the body for a post-mortem.
“Incredibly, badger persecution is still practised in North Wales and we will continue to work with partners in tackling abhorrent incidents such as these.”
It came as MPs backed an end to the badger cull which has seen over 140,000 killed since 2013 in a bid to curb bovine tuberculosis infections.
Some 38,642 badgers were killed last year and experts have said they fear another 140,000 will die before the cull is stopped.
Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs he backed plans to end the badger cull.
Anybody with information should contact officers at the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team via the website or by calling 101, quoting reference number Z121155.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.