The RSPCA is investigating after a chicken’s body was found dumped in a stream in Cornwall.

The bird’s body was found in a cardboard box submerged in water in a small stream running under Penny’s Lane in Par on April 18.

Animal collection officer (ACO) Peter Ferris went to collect the bird’s body and is now looking into what happened.

He said: “The cardboard box was soaking wet and there was mushed up seed inside.

“When I arrived, the bird’s body - which had been in the box - was in the water, submerged in the stream.

“It looks as though the bird has been abandoned in the box but what isn’t clear is whether the bird was alive or dead when he was dumped.”

A woman who discovered the box used a stick to pull it to the bank and spotted the hen’s body inside and alerted the RSPCA.

The caller who contacted the RSPCA reported that, the previous day, a box of kittens had been found abandoned nearby.

ACO Ferris added: “It’s difficult to know where this hen has come from and whether she died in suspicious circumstances before being dumped, or whether she died after being left here.

“That’s why I’m appealing to anyone who has any information about what happened to get in touch with our appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit their website.