An otter has died after suffering serious injuries when it became trapped in a snare.
The animal was discovered in the trap in Scotland Road, Little Bowden, near Market Harborough, on 19 January.
It was released by a member of the public and taken to a vet but had to be put down, the RSPCA said.
The charity said it was illegal to set snares for otters, which are a protected species, and appealed for information on Thursday.
RSPCA inspector Beckie Harlock said the female otter's internal organs were badly damaged when the snare cut into its abdomen.
"Sadly the injury sustained by the otter would have been over a long period of time and she would have suffered considerably.
"Unfortunately, due to the severity of her injuries, vets decided the kindest thing was to put her to sleep to prevent her suffering further."