These are the heartbreaking pictures of a humpback whale which washed up on the north coast of Scotland – tangled in fishing gear.
An orange buoy and rope could be seen wrapped around the whale when it was found dead in Scrabster, Caithness.
The whale was spotted on Wednesday before its body came ashore this morning.
No cause of death has been established but signs suggested it had been entangled in rope before it died.
In April a humpback whale carcass measuring nine metres long washed up on a beach in East Lothian.
The juvenile whale, which was found on the beach at John Muir Country Park, Dunbar, East Lothian, had also become entangled in ropes.
One shocked environmentalist on Facebook said: “Although a necropsy is yet to be performed, it is very likely that this humpback did die from entanglement.
“Entangled whales can spend days, sometimes weeks, constrained by these lines and unable to properly move.
“They become slower and weaker, and eventually die what must be an agonising death.”