An animal charity has been flooded with ferrets and is appealing to the public to rehome the furry creatures.
The Scottish SPCA is currently caring for 35 ferrets, six of which are being looked after at the Scottish SPCA's Aberdeenshire animal rescue and rehoming centre at Drumoak, near Banchory.
Many of the ferrets arrived in the charity's care after they were found straying, although it is likely several have actually been abandoned as few are ever reclaimed by their owners.
The latest ferret to be rescued by the charity is Petal, a ten-week-old female who was found by a member of the public weak and hungry in Kelty, Fife.
Scottish SPCA superintendent Sharon Comrie said: "A ferret might not be the first animal you'd think of when considering a new pet, but in our experience they are fantastic little creatures who can bring a great deal of enjoyment to their owners.
"Some people think ferrets are wild animals but they're not. They're domesticated pets that cannot survive outdoors on their own.
"It's very sad to see so many coming into our care. Whether this is from them escaping from their enclosures or being dumped, we can't say.
"What we do know is that they all deserve to be in loving homes with people who care for them.
"Ferrets are highly intelligent, sociable and inquisitive creatures with lots of character. They enjoy living in single-sex pairs or groups and they can live for ten years or more.”
She said that most ferrets enjoy being handled and some even like short walks on a harness.
"Most ferret owners will agree that they are very entertaining pets who will play, run around and act daft for hours before curling up on a cosy blanket for a well deserved snooze,” she added.
"We have lots of friendly ferrets of various ages and personality types in our care right now. From youngsters who have been raised in our centres and are easy to handle to the more timid or cheeky ferrets who would appeal to experienced owners."
Anyone interested in rehoming a ferret can call the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.