When a newborn lamb became entangled in a barbed wire fence she could easily have fallen prey to a fox or died from her wounds.
Her mother or the farmer were nowhere in sight and it was impossible to hear her plaintive cries over the hubbub of traffic speeding past on the A1.
But fortunately keen-eyed chef Alix Clarke spotted something white in a dip at the side of the road as he drove home from work last Thursday.
The 21-year-old was on route from Dubar to Prestonpans when he glimpsed what he thought was a sheep close to the Wallyford sliproad after Whitecraig.
The big-hearted chef pulled over onto the hard shoulder and believes the lamb – nicknamed April – would certainly have died if he hadn’t.
He said: “I saw something moving on the left hand side of the road near to the fence. At first I thought it was a fully-grown sheep.
“But when I pulled over I saw there was a tiny lamb with its front leg wrapped in barbed wire.
“People have told me I should have left it there for its mother to find but there were no other sheep next to the road and there was a lot of blood. If I hadn’t helped it would have died. There was no way it could free itself, and a fox could have got it.”
Alix took about 30 seconds to a minute to free the lamb using wire-cutters from the back of his car.
He used Sellotape and sticking plasters to create a makeshift dressing for the gash on her leg before wrapping her up a blanket and putting her in the front seat.
At first the lamb was quite distressed after her ordeal but as soon as she sat on his knee in the car she began to calm down, he said.
When he got home to Prestonpans, he gave her a bath and later took her to the SSPCA.
Alix may be a chef but the thought of lamb chops never entered his head. “I would consider adopting the lamb if he had the right support,” he added.
April the lamb is now in the care of the SSPCA’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming centre.
She is being treated with antibiotics for and is “doing well” though a farmer has yet to come forward to claim her.
The SSPCA confirmed that the charity had seen “quite a bit of interest” from people wanting to re-home April, including someone who specifically looks after pet farm animals.
Animal rescue officer Melissa Maitland renewed appeals for the owner to come forward.
She said: “Unfortunately April doesn’t have an identification tag or a chip so we’re appealing to anyone who recognises her to get in touch.
“It’s likely April hasn’t travelled too far so we’re hoping someone will realise she’s missing and come forward. If not we’ll find her a new home.”
If you recognise April, please call the SSPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.