A terrified woman called the Scottish SPCA after finding a stray snake -- only to discover it was a toy made from plastic.
Animal rescue officers were called out amid fears that a cornsnake had been attacked and left for dead.
The reptile was motionless and had its mouth wide open.
But as soon as workers from the Scottish SPCA arrived at Green Street Park in Forfar, Angus, last Wednesday they found out that it was made from plastic.
Animal Rescue Officer Coreen Hill said: “I expected to be met with an escaped cornsnake that had been attacked by a cat or dog, but instead I discovered it was made of plastic.
“The caller believed they had spotted a snake in the distance whilst at the park and was too scared to get any closer to investigate.
“They could only tell that it wasn’t moving and had its mouth open.
“This job can be very tough as we deal with severely injured animals on a daily basis, so it’s quite nice when something like this makes us smile.”
It is not the first time the Scottish SPCA has experienced a case of mistaken identity.
But the charity stressed that it was always better to be safe than sorry and encouraged people with concerns about animals to phone their helpline.
Coreen added: “Earlier in the year one of my colleagues responded to a report of an injured bat on a bin but when she arrived she discovered the bat was, in fact, a plastic toy.
“Although incidents like these are false alarms, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and we’d encourage anyone with concerns about an animal to call our helpline on 03000 999 999.”