A LAMB hit by a Renault Clio and carried more than 25 miles to Edinburgh Airport is lucky to be alive, a vet said today.
The four-week-old lamb was gambolling on a road when it was struck by the car and carried at speeds that could have topped 60mph along the A70 and A71 – one of Scotland’s most dangerous roads.
The shocked driver only discovered the creature was stuck to the front of her tiny car when she arrived at the airport, where she was due to pick up her partner.
Vet Mike Hall of Braid Vets, in Mayfield Road, where the lamb – nicknamed Larry – was treated, said he had heard of birds becoming stuck to a car grille and carried short distances, but he had never in his 20-year career known an animal the size of a lamb to survive a journey over such a long distance.
“Larry could have easily died of shock during the journey,” he said. “He is clearly a very robust little creature with a great determination to live, but he is very lucky.”
The lamb was struck near Carnwath, South Lanarkshire.
But the driver, who was believed to have been in a hurry, did not stop and continued to the terminal seemingly unaware Larry was still alive and lodged in the car’s front bars.
It was only after she arrived at the airport, around 40 minutes after the collision, that the driver was told by a member of the public there was a seemingly startled sheep attached to her car. She then called the police from a lay-by near the airport and officers were able to free Larry from the grille.
Mr Hall said he had been delighted to have been able to help Larry get back on his feet.
He said: “The police contacted our 24-hour emergency service. He was shocked and had quite a bad fracture of the back leg, but the shock wore off over time and we were able to get him back on all four feet.”
Mr Hall said the lamb, whose leg is currently in plaster, would probably be left with a permanent limp following the incident late on Friday evening, but otherwise should make a good recovery. Animal welfare officers urged drivers who believe they have hit an animal to stop at the scene to prevent a repeat of Larry’s traumatic experience.
As animal experts last night continued to puzzle over exactly how Larry had become embedded in the grille of the small car made famous by the Va Va Voom adverts, the story had a happy ending when Larry was reunited with his owners who revealed they are planning to keep him for breeding purposes.
Scottish SPCA senior inspector Jenny Scott, who took Larry home, said: “The police alerted us to an incident in which, remarkably, a lamb had been found inside a car grille.
“The lamb had suffered a broken leg and after receiving vet treatment was taken to our Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.
“We were able to trace the lamb’s owner and have since returned it to a farm in Lanarkshire, where we believe it will be used for breeding purposes. We’d advise people to be cautious when driving along country roads to avoid hitting wildlife or livestock. If anyone believes they have struck an animal they should pull over if it is safe to do so.”
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police were called following a report that a lamb had been injured in collision with a vehicle. The animal is recovering well.”
CLEAR AND PHEASANT DANGER
Last month, “baffled” Scottish SPCA officers freed a pheasant which spent five hours trapped inside the front of a car. The Capital driver who hit the bird near Longniddry, East Lothian presumed he had killed it.
It was only hours after returning home he noticed feathers sticking out of the grille and discovered the impact had forced the bird right inside.
In October, Penelope a Persian cat from Edinburgh was treated for burnt paw pads and a singed coat after travelling under a van bonnet for six miles.
It is thought she climbed into the vehicle for warmth after breaking her jaw and losing a tooth in a fall.