Baby red squirrels rescued after nest blown

image copyrightScottish SPCA
image captionThe squirrels have been named Frodo, Smeagle and Pippin after Lord of the Rings characters

The Scottish SPCA has rescued its first red squirrel babies of the season.

The animal welfare charity was alerted to the discovery of three young squirrels that were blown from a nest at Killiecrankie in Perthshire.

They are now being rehabilitated at the charity's National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire.

The babies have been named Frodo, Smeagle and Pippin after Lord of the Rings characters.

image copyrightScottish SPCA
image captionThey are now being hand reared at the centre by Sheelagh McAllister, head of small mammals

They are being hand reared by Sheelagh McAllister, the centre's head of small mammals.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: "Sheelagh has had a vast amount of experience rearing red squirrels and is extremely knowledgeable in the care they require.

"Frodo, Smeagle and Pippin will remain in our care until they are completely independent. It's good that they have come in together as this will help their development before their return to the wild, at a supported release site."

A recent survey of Scotland's red squirrel population showed that their numbers have stabilised across the country, and are increasing in the north east.

There are an estimated 138,000 red squirrels in the UK, according to charity Trees for Life.

image copyrightScottish SPCA
image copyrightScottish SPCA

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