A lapwing was found in Barry with puncture wounds under her wings, in a feared shooting incident.
RSPCA Cymru was contacted after the wading bird was found at Dow Corning, on Cardiff Road, in Barry.
A member of the public had found the bird badly injured and unable to fly on the evening of Thursday 17 January, and phoned the RSPCA the following day.
RSPCA Cymru attended that day, and took the bird into their care.
Sadly, veterinary examination found the bird was so injured, with a fractured shoulder and damaged eye, that she had to be put to sleep to prevent further suffering.
The animal welfare charity has now launched an appeal for information, seeking any leads as to who may have injured the bird, or why the poor bird was seemingly shot. It is against the law to kill or injure wild birds (except under licence) and individuals can potentially face up to six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
RSPCA animal collection officer Fiona Thomas said: “This beautiful lapwing was found in a very bad way in Barry.
“We believe the bird was shot on 17 January, and suffered further damage as she hit the ground.
“Sadly, her injuries were so severe that vets had no choice but to put the animal to sleep to prevent her from further suffering.
“We’re eager to find out what happened to this poor bird. It beggars belief anyone would seemingly take pot shots at such a defenceless animal.
“Anyone with information is urged contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
For more information on what to do if you find an injured wild animal, visit the RSPCA website.