A postie teamed up with a Scottish SPCA inspector to haul an injured seal pup up a cliff path during one of 2020’s most unusual rescues.
Scotland’s leading animal welfare charity has shared some details of its busy year as it announced there had been 6,711 admissions to its national wildlife rescue centre between March and the end of the year.
The seal found herself in a tight spot in Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders after coming out of the water in Killiedraught Bay.
The bay is surrounded by cliffs and is difficult to access, forcing inspector Jenny Scott to leave her van at the top and make her way down to the injured pup.
She said: “The seal pup had some quite nasty looking injuries on her flippers so she needed veterinary attention at our wildlife hospital.
“I managed to contain the pup but then had to make my way to my van up the steep, muddy cliff path with a 39kg seal.
“Thankfully, a nearby postman had seen my struggle and came to give me a helping hand. He rescued me during my rescue!”
The postman’s assist helped get the seal safely in Jenny’s van and the pup is now recuperating at the Scottish SPCA’s wildlife centre.
Unlucky in love, lucky in rescue
Among the year’s other weird rescues was a swan that was helped down from the roof of a building in Glasgow. Wildlife officers believe the bird ended up there after looking for love in the wrong place.
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Amy Stirton attended the Easterhouse Sports Centre after a call had monitored a male swan a day earlier to see if he would fly off on his own accord.
Amy said: “The swan had made himself at home in the guttering and was harder to spot but thankfully, an eagle-eyed member of the public had seen him and called our helpline.
“We suspect he made a move on the wrong female and was chased on to the roof by her partner.
“I had to contact the local fire service to assist me as I had no way of accessing the roof as the leisure centre was closed due to lockdown restrictions.
“The swan wasn’t best pleased about being rescued as he seemed to have a nice wee set up with two feet of water running round the whole building like a moat.”
Once down from the roof, the swan was safely released back on Hogganfield pond.
Wrestling with a pine marten
In November, animal rescue officer Stuart Louch was called out to the rare rescue of a pine marten.
The animal had its foot trapped in a bird feeder in a garden in Doune, Perthshire, where it regularly came to feed.
Stuart said: “The pine marten had potentially been stuck since the previous night so was desperate to get free from the bird feeder.
“He was very wriggly so it was quite a tricky task to remove him safely.
“Once I’d freed him he latched himself on to my glove so we had a small wrestle!
“I was then able to release him nearby to the delight of the caller who enjoys watching the pine marten in their garden.”
Monty’s miraculous escape
The Conon Bridge canine was trapped underground for four days before his owner and a group of friends managed to get him free.
They used 20 tonne hydraulic jacks to prise apart a rock and then dug six feet underground to reach Monty and pull him to safety.
The final part of the mission was completed by a local dog-lover who saw an appeal on Facebook and drove to the area to see if he could help.