A police investigation has been launched into the death of an otter on a south of Scotland loch. It was found by a member of the public at Loch Ken, near Parton, at about 14:00 on 28 June.

The animal was caught in a fyke net which police said appeared to have been illegally set to catch crayfish in the area. Anyone who has information about the incident has been asked to come forward.

A fyke net is a type of fish trap which consists of a long cylindrical netting bag. It is usually fitted with several netting cones inside the cylinder to make entry easy and exit difficult. Loch Ken has had problems with non-native crayfish for several years.

PC John Cowan, wildlife crime liaison officer, said: “It is illegal to set a fyke net or attempt to catch crayfish without a licence which can put other local wildlife at risk.

“Otters will enter these nets to take advantage of an easy meal and can become trapped and drown, which is sadly what happened in this instance.”