Police are appealing for information after an illegally set animal trap was discovered at Kenfig National Nature Reserve in Bridgend.
A member of the public discovered the trap at the nature reserve on the sand dunes between Haul Road and the beach.
The device is known as a gin trap, or a spring trap, and works by trapping animals by the leg with spring-operated serrated jaws, causing them to break their limbs as they try to escape.
They can also be a hazard for children and pets.
PC Mark Goulding, wildlife and environmental crime officer at South Wales Police , said: “While it is not an offence to possess a gin trap, it is however a banned trap to set under Section 8 of the Pests Act 1954.
"Gin traps are mechanical traps designed to catch an animal by its leg, using spring-operated jaws with teeth or a serrated edge.
“The trap is connected to a chain and a stake driven into the ground which means the animal cannot get away. The animal therefore suffers from the injuries caused by the trap, often breaking its leg.
“A gin trap can also cause injury to a child or pet, luckily in this case the trap was spotted before any animal or child could come to any harm and reserve staff were able to quickly seize it."
PC Mark Goulding described the actions of whoever set it as "reckless and irresponsible" and having "no regard for public and animal safety".
Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact South Wales Police on 101 quoting reference 1900308120.