Members of the public have been warned to keep their distance from a large carcass – suspected to be a whale – found on a beach.
Experts said the remains of the creature, which have been lying on the sands at Blackdog for more than a week, could be carrying diseases.
They warned it could have infections likely to pose a risk to humans.
Dog walker Jill Runcie, 53, found the large marine mammal when she was walking her five-year-old beagle Bailey on the beach on Saturday.
And she described the carcass as “pretty messy”.
Jill, who lives in Airyhall, added: “It’s not something you expect to find. Normally we come across bits of fish but nothing like this.
“At first I thought it was a rock but as I got closer I realised it was an animal.
“It’s a shame. It was sad to see it there.”
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The British Divers Marine Life Rescue organisation, which deals with strandings of whales and dolphins around the UK, has been made aware of the carcass.
The voluntary organisation’s north-east of Scotland co-ordinator Colin McFadyen said: “The first thing people should do is not get too close and not let dogs get too close either.
“In the longer term it will be passed to the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme.
“What they do is attempt to take samples to determine how it died.
“Unfortunately, with this one, it has started to decompose and they may only be able to determine its species.
“Quite often, animals may come ashore alive before they die.
“Animals will be carriers of quite a few diseases.
“Often there will be things which will be harmless to them but could be dangerous if they are passed on to humans.
“In addition to that, if it has come ashore, there is a chance the whale was already sick.
“It has also already started to decompose so it’s really not very nice at all.
“It’s very unpleasant and for the sake of human health we would advise people to stay a safe distance from it.”
He said the charity believes the animal is the same one which has been spotted in the north-east in recent weeks.
And he added that finding whales stranded on beaches around the UK is not uncommon, with volunteers from BDMLR dealing with many incidents each year.
He said: “At the moment we are assuming this is the same animal which was seen off Balmedie two weeks ago.
“There have been other ones in the last month or so as well.
“It’s fairly common for animals to come ashore.
“We are looking at in the region of 100 whales stranding across the UK every year.”