Gritter driver saves wounded fox and ‘snowy’ owl saved from freezing by Aberdeenshire farmer

A warm-hearted gritter driver moved a wounded fox to safety after spotting the freezing creature lying in snow in Aberdeen.

When Gordon Walters noticed the animal beside the Bridge of Dee, he alerted rescuers from the New Arc wildlife centre and placed traffic cones around the fox to make it noticeable.

However, New Arc volunteers were snowed in and had to send out an appeal for animal-lovers to help out.

Representatives from the Wiggy and Friends Animal Rescue charity “dropped everything” to race to the fox’s aid and brought it to a vet for emergency treatment.  The creature was found to have a smashed pelvis and buckshot wounds.

A farmer later cleared the entrance to New Arc so that the fox could be taken there for further care.

Co-founder of the sanctuary, Keith Marley, has named the fox Marvel “because it’s a marvel it is alive”.

Meanwhile, a frostbitten owl was rescued from a mound of snow by a farmer who almost ran the animal over in his tractor.

The long-eared owl was discovered along a farm track at Towie by 33-year-old James Insch.

The nocturnal creature was “frozen stiff” when found, but began to perk up after being tended to by Mr Insch’s family.

His wife, Katie, six-year-old Lachlan and three-year-old Brodie were taken aback when he returned home cradling the animal – but they later wrapped their newfound feathered friend in a towel to warm it up.

Mrs Insch said: “The owl must have been there for hours as it was 8am when my husband found it, while he was out ploughing the farm track clear.

“It wouldn’t move to start with, but seemed livelier after a couple of hours.”

The family’s surprise was compounded when they were later told that the long-eared owl is not a species known to inhabit the area.

After being collected by a local vet, the bird was placed with a New Arc volunteer.