A pair of rescued puffins have been released successfully back into the wild.
The two birds, named Tony and Don, were taken into the care of the Scottish SPCA within hours of each other on December 8 after being found injured.
Don was recovered from a beach in Montrose, Angus, with an injured leg.
Tony, who was injured and soaked through from the rain, was rescued from a beach in Fife after being found under a pile of seaweed by a member of the public’s dog.
Both were taken to the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire.
After undergoing rehabilitation, the endangered birds were released near Elie in Fife on December 28 with help from the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick.
April Dodds, assistant manager of the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre, said: “Both these birds were very lucky to have been found and we’d like to thank the members of public involved for taking the time to stop and help them.
“As puffins are sociable birds, we decided to pair the two of them up so they could have some company during their rehabilitation.
“After a few weeks of medical treatment from our specialist veterinary team, plenty of rest and a good feed they were ready to be released.
“We’d like to say thank you to our friends at the Scottish Seabird Centre who helped us with the release.
“Tony and Don were released on December 28 near Elie and, after a bit of hesitation, soon found their sea legs again and swam off together.
“It’s always a fantastic feeling to watch animals return to the wild, but none more so when the animals in question are vulnerable species like these puffins.
“We know how tenuous the wild population is, so it’s important to do everything we can to rehabilitate and release any that come into our care.”
Susan Davies, CEO of the Scottish Seabird Centre, added: “We have a huge amount of respect for the work of the Scottish SPCA and were delighted our team could provide some advice to aid the safe release of these rehabilitated puffins.
“Many of our internationally important seabirds, including puffins, are in steep decline and so it was just great to see Don and Tony returning to sea.”
If you ever find an animal in distress, call the Scottish SPCA’s helpline on 03000 999 999.