Police are investigating claims that a van driver “crushed” three ducklings by mowing them down as they were crossing the road.
Staffordshire Police said officers were made aware of the incident, which took place in Trentham, a southern suburb of Stoke-on-Trent, on Friday.
Images of the ducklings laying in the road were shared across social media after being posted on Facebook by a man called Steven Walley.
He said other drivers stopped to let the family of seven ducklings cross, but the driver of a white van “could not wait” and instead “drove straight over them”.
Mr Walley wrote: “I’ve just been driving on the A34 at Trentham Gardens roundabout when a family of seven ducklings were crossing the road.
“All the traffic stopped to let them cross but disgustingly this van driver, after initially stopping, could not then wait for the five seconds it would have taken to let them cross and drove straight over them, crushing three of them.”
Mr Walley added he followed the vehicle to a nearby lay-by and had what he described as a “very heated conversation” with the van driver.
Staffordshire Police acknowledged the incident was an “emotive issue” and advised people not to “take matters into their own hands”.
The police said in a statement: “We are aware of a post circulating of a van driver who is believed to have killed ducklings in Trentham.
“We have made contact with the author of the post and are establishing potential offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
“We understand this is an emotive issue for many people and we ask please that you do not take matters into your own hands.”