Tayside and Central Scotland

Record number of rescued animals returned to the wild

Utah Image copyright SSPCA
Image caption Fox cub Utah was one of those cared for at the Scottish SPCA shelter

A record number of rescued wild animals were returned to their natural habitat last year, according to the Scottish SPCA.

The charity returned 4,651 animals to the wild in 2015, compared to 1,881 in 2010.

Carers believe it is due to a growing awareness of animals in danger and the creation of a £3.5m national wildlife rescue centre.

The centre in Fishcross, near Alloa, was entirely funded by donations.

Among those recently released were two five-week-old red squirrels found in Blairgowrie, Perth and Kinross.

Image copyright SSPCA
Image caption Red squirrels Jar Jar and Binks have been returned to their natural habitat

Named Jar Jar and Binks after the Star Wars character, they were discovered on the ground having likely fallen from their tree nest.

The pair had to be syringe-fed through the night before they were moved to an outdoor enclosure and eventually returned to their natural habitat.

They were joined at the rescue centre by fox cub Utah and otter cub Buddy.

The two cubs are still being treated and learning how to fend for themselves before they will be released later this year.

Image copyright SSPCA
Image caption Otter cub Buddy is learning to fend for itself

Speaking at the launch of the charity's annual wildlife week, Fishcross centre manager Colin Seddon said: "Releasing wild animals fit and healthy back to their natural habitats is always our aim wherever possible, so these statistics are incredibly encouraging.

"At Fishcross we benefit from on-site veterinary facilities which means we don't have to move animals once they are here, keeping human interaction and stress to an absolute minimum.

"Our staff provide a very high standard of care for Scotland's wildlife and we are tremendously proud of our progress."

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites