Amazing SSPCA lockdown rescues help celebrate Scottish Animal Week

The Scottish SPCA has shared some of the most unusual rescues it has undertaken since lockdown began.

By Julie Currie
Sunday, 13th September 2020, 12:30 pm
Unable to fly...but this osprey is being nursed back to health by SSPCA team at the Wildlife Rescue Centre.
Unable to fly...but this osprey is being nursed back to health by SSPCA team at the Wildlife Rescue Centre.

They include stuck swans, two very lost sheep and an acrobatic fox!

Scotland’s animal welfare charity is sharing the stories as part of its Scottish Animal Week celebrations, which starts tomorrow (Monday).

The SSPCA has continued to rescue and care for animals throughout lockdown. And it will be showcasing the vital roles animals have played in lockdown by celebrating the animals it has cared for and rehomed this week.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Life's a Breeze...for this gull who was rescued and released back into the wild the following day.

In April, inspector Maggie Adkins rescued an injured lamb from the cliffs of North Tolsta on the Isle of Lewis.

Another was saved from a small cave behind a waterfall at Calderglen Country Park.

And a very surprised motorist discovered a fox cub sleeping in their car engine in Dunfermline!

The expert team at the SSPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre was kept busy during lockdown, caring for nearly 3000 wild animals and releasing 700 back into the wild between March and the end of June.

DIY disaster...for one home owner whose newly decorated wall had to be cut up to free Breeze, the gull who was later returned to the wild by Eilidh.

They were also kept on their toes by two swans who found themselves in a tight spot.

The swans were rescued in Ayr after they were found trapped between a metal pipe and brickwork by a member of the public. The birds were stuck tight, couldn’t move and were clearly in distress.

Elaine Lindsay, SSPCA chief inspector, said: “The swans had somehow become trapped between a large metal pipe and the wall. We have no idea how they both managed to get stuck there!

“They were wedged in quite tightly but thankfully we were able to get them out and transport them to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre so they could receive the TLC they needed.”

Sugar glider...Mila has been reunited with family members Chilli and Cuba!

Last month saw the most unusual rescue of all.

The SSPCA successfully reunited a lost sugar glider with its owner, after the small marsupial was found hanging from a towel pegged to a washing line on a balcony – four storeys high in Glasgow.

Amy Stirton, SSPCA animal rescue officer, said: “I’ve never come across a sugar glider in Scotland so this was a very unusual rescue. They get their name from the fact their diet is high in sweet foods such as nectar and pollen.

“They can also glide the length of a football pitch in one go due to their tiny webbed ‘wings’.

Foxy lady....SSPCA officer was able to coax her out of a block of flats safely.

“Thankfully, after appealing to the public, the owner came forward.

“The sugar glider’s name is Mila and he was successfully reunited with his family members Chilli and Cuba.”

One poor home owner saw their DIY efforts destroyed, after they started to hear noises from behind a wall.

They ended up cutting a hole in the only wall they had papered and were astonished to find a gull had fallen down an old chimney and was wedged behind breeze blocks. It seemed only natural to name the bird Breeze!

Animal rescue officer Eilidh Bennett attended and managed to free him.

After an examination to make sure there were no serious injuries, she took him home so he could rest in a cosy bed and be fed to get his energy up before release.

The following day Eilidh released him on the beach of a seaside town where he enthusiastically returned to his natural habitat.

The SSPCA was contacted by another concerned member of the public who had found an osprey unable to fly on a path next to the River Teith in Deanston.

The osprey had no obvious injuries but was whisked to the SSPCA National Wildlife Rescue.

The expert wildlife team named him Egg and have been getting his strength up with a diet of trout. He is receiving the care and treatment he needs to get him to full health before his release and migration to Africa for the winter.

To round off the month, the SSPCA were alerted to a fox taking a cat nap in the stairwell of a block of flats.

The caller opened their front door to find the fox curled up in a ball on a comfy door mat.

They tried to tempt it downstairs and back outside with food but it panicked and ended up between a wall and a pipe! This is how animal rescue officer Sarah Parker found her when she arrived.

The fox was safely encouraged out of the stairwell by Sarah. Thankfully, it had no injuries and was successfully returned to the wild.

Keep an eye on the society’s social media channels for updates throughout Scottish Animal Week for more amazing stories.