Cygnets found dead at a Fife country park are being tested for avian influenza.
The bodies of three young swans were discovered at Craigtoun Country Park near St Andrews and have been taken to a laboratory in Edinburgh to be tested for bird flu.
Park manager Paul Dixon confirmed the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was investigating.
“Some people mentioned at the weekend that they weren’t looking too good and unfortunately on Monday morning we found them dead,” he said.
“The Scottish SPCA were called and DEFRA were involved as well. They’ve collected the bodies and they’ve taken them through to Edinburgh, where they’re going to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
“It is suspected bird flu,” he added.
“That’s what the guy who collected them told us.
“He believes that may be the cause but it would be determined by the autopsy.”
The cygnets were part of a brood of seven at the popular park.
One died shortly after hatching and another three have flown to another location.
The two parent swans are still at the park and appear in good health.
Mr Dixon said visitors had become familiar with the cygnets, adding: “People are quite upset about it.”
Fife Council said officers were aware of DEFRA’s involvement and are awaiting the outcome of the test results.
Although presenting a low risk to humans, the strain has the potential to cause high mortality in poultry and wild birds.
Bird flu can be economically devastating for poultry farmers.
Fife previously became the epicentre of a bird flu alert in April 2006, when a dead swan discovered in Cellardyke was the first wild bird confirmed to have the virus in Britain.
It happened amid the outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which killed hundreds of people across countries including Indonesia, Egypt and Vietnam, Cambodia and China.
According to the World Health Organization, a total of 826 people were infected with the strain between 2003 and 2015, of whom 440 died.
At the time, a protection zone and six-mile surveillance area was set up around the quiet East Neuk village.
So far there have been no reported cases of bird flu in humans anywhere in the UK.
However, people are advised not to touch or pick up dead or visibly sick birds as a precaution.
The NHS says eating fully cooked poultry or eggs will not result in you catching bird flu, even in areas where there is an outbreak of the virus.