At least ten fox cubs were found in people’s gardens and taken home last year, sparking a public warning this spring.
Animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA is asking members of the public to stop picking up the baby animals and taking them into their homes.
It is also pleading with people to wait and watch them to avoid unnecessary admissions to its National Wildlife Rescue Centre.
“Recently, a fox was in a garden for just one hour before being unnecessarily lifted, and another was taken into someone’s home because they thought the cub was a kitten,” said SSPCA centre manager, Chris Hogsden.
The charity recommends monitoring baby foxes from a safe distance before intervening and, when assistance is required, to always phone its helpline.
“Last year we cared for ten cubs who had been found by well-meaning people in their gardens and taken in to their homes,” Mr Hogsden said.
“They were often fed human food and milk which caused them a lot of discomfort through bloating. Some people even kept the animals for several days before contacting us.
“Once a fox comes into our care in the spring, they will be rehabilitated for five to six months and most wild animals can be very stressed in captivity.
“We can only release foxes at a time of year when they would naturally disperse in to the wild. We also need to ensure they are presenting natural behaviours, are fit, strong, and have reached a healthy weight.”
If the Scottish SPSCA is contacted after a baby fox has been away from their family for several days, the chances of reuniting them with their pack are slim.
The cubs then must be rehabilitated so they can survive on their own.
“If you see a wild animal that might need help, please always keep your distance and call our helpline in the first instance for advice before intervening,” Mr Hogsden added.
Anyone concerned about an animal can contact the confidential Scottish SPCA helpline at 03000 999 999.