Stoat found unconscious is released back into wild

The stoat shows signs of recovery. Pictures: Scottish SPCA
The stoat shows signs of recovery. Pictures: Scottish SPCA
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A stoat found unconscious at the side of a road in Edinburgh has been released back into the wild by the Scottish SPCA.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was alerted after a member of the public discovered the creature beside Biggar Road on 22 January.

The stoat

The stoat

The stoat was nursed back to health by animal rescue officer Fiona Thorburn and staff at the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre before being released.

Fiona said: “The wee stoat was unconscious so I tried to warm him up with the help of a hot water bottle.

“He improved greatly overnight and I was thrilled to see him showing his feistier side the following morning.

“I took him to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire so our expert wildlife team could monitor him and make sure he was okay, which thankfully he was.”

The stoat

The stoat

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: “The stoat had his winter coat, known as ermine, which grows during the winter to provide camouflage. This is the first time we have treated a stoat who was in ermine.

“We believe he may have been dropped at the side of the road by a predator.

“The stoat remained with us for a few days and once we were satisfied he had made a full recovery we returned him to the snow covered hills close to where he was found.”

Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed wild animal should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.