A DISTRESSING video which appears to depict the killing of a small animal is being probed by police.

The video, which has been circulating on social media, appears to show a male smiling to the camera before proceeding to kill a small rabbit. 

The male is then seen as he throws the animal into the bushes before the video comes to an end.

It is understood the video was filmed in woodland in the Bishop Auckland area earlier this month.

A spokesperson for Durham Police, who confirmed the incident had been reported, told The Northern Echo that enquires were currently ongoing.

They said: "The incident itself occurred at around 5.15pm on May 18, we know it occurred in the Bishop Auckland area but haven’t identified where as of yet.

"Enquires are ongoing."