West Lothian residents ‘cried wolf’ to police over sightings of 'terrifying' animal near busy road
Nearly 300 people said they spotted a ‘wolf’ near the A89 in West Lothian - but the real identity of the animal was not as ‘terrifying’ as it seemed.
Sightings of a 'wolf' wandering in and out of traffic on the A89 near Bathgate sparked more than 270 concerned calls to Police Scotland.
Confused officers were sent to investigate reports of a wolf – which has been extinct in the Scottish lowlands for around 400 years.
But when they tracked the animal down last Sunday morning they found the ‘terrifying animal’ was actually a tame, pet white fox.
White foxes are extremely rare in Scotland, and the SSPCA has discouraged people from keeping them as pets.
In a light-hearted post, police in West Lothian shared a snap of the animal on Facebook: "I had a post prepared for last weekend entitled “Never a dull moment, this job is nothing if not varied.
"It featured the 270+ calls we had attended (at the time of writing) and a very unusual incident with reports of a “wolf” wandering in traffic on the A89. Not quite a wolf, rather a white fox, you can see where the confusion came in."
A Police Scotland spokesperson added: "Around 9.30am on Sunday, July 11, police were called to a report of a white dog/wolf wandering in traffic on the A89 between Dechmont and Bathgate, West Lothian.
"Officers attended and the animal - which turned out to be a domesticated white fox - was traced to a nearby garden and was returned to its owner who lives locally."