Utah, a three-week-old orphan fox cub, was found by a road. © Scottish SPCA
The number of wildlife casualties in Scotland returned to their natural habitats has more than doubled in just over five years.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity, the Scottish SPCA, released 4,651 wild animals in 2015, compared to just 1,881 in 2010.
This is partly due to the charity’s £3.5 billion relocation to the National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross in 2012.
Colin Seddon manages the site. He said: “Releasing wild animals fit and healthy back to their natural habitats is always our aim wherever possible, so these statistics are incredibly encouraging.”
The move to the new centre has enabled the charity to deal with a larger volume of rescued animals than ever before, as well as increasing the diversity of species it can take in, from orphaned foxes and otters to injured deer, seals and birds of prey.
The charity has also invested heavily in increasing the size and capabilities of its rescue team, which means it can respond to a greater number of call-outs and deal with them efficiently.
“At Fishcross we benefit from on-site veterinary facilities, which means we don’t have to move animals once they are here, keeping human interaction and stress to an absolute minimum,” said Seddon.
Read more news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine