Two rare lambs are feared to have been stolen from a petting zoo – leaving their heartbroken mums calling for them.
The North Ronaldsay lambs – which are less than a week old – are thought to have been stolen from Almond Valley Heritage Centre in Livingston, West Lothian.
The rare sheep, which are usually only found on North Ronaldsay – the northern most of the Orkney Islands, date back 8000 years and are the oldest breed in Northern Europe.
On Tuesday, staff at the centre made a desperate plea for the lambs, one of which is female and the other male, to be returned.
They said nothing would make the brown and black lambs want to leave their mums and warned the newborns would not survive without milk.
A spokesperson for the centre said: “Today we have discovered that overnight our two youngest lambs have gone missing.
“One was 48-hours-old and the other was 72-hours-old.
“Nothing in a lamb would make it want to leave its mums side.
“The fact that two are missing with the mums still calling for them and no sign of them anywhere, leaves the only explanation possible as them being stolen.
“These are rare breed sheep listed in the highest conservation bracket, one of which is a male and the other one being a female.
“These lambs will not survive without milk, we desperately want them back.
“One lamb is brown and the other is black.
“The police have been informed.”
The centre is the only Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) accredited farm park in central Scotland – home to a variety of rare breed farm animals.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police were made aware of the theft of two lambs from Almond Valley Heritage Centre, Livingston, overnight between Monday 19 and Tuesday, April 20.
“Enquiries are currently ongoing.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country