A fox caught in an illegal trap has prompted an investigation by the RSPCA.
The wild animal was found in Plume Avenue, Maldon, with his back leg caught in a duke coil spring trap.
The RSPCA was called on Sunday, June 1 and managed to release the animal, but it had to be put down due to severe injuries.
Inspector Steve Craddock said: “These traps are lethal and can cause horrific injuries - there is a reason why they are illegal.
“This poor fox’s hind leg was horribly mangled and he would have suffered a great deal of pain - there sadly was no way of saving him.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call 0300 1238018.