Hedgehogs have been put to sleep after getting tangled in football nets, sparking a warning from animal welfare chiefs.
Summer fun has seen a spike in reports of injured animals – which rescuers believe could be avoided with more tidying up.
The Scottish SPCA has received an increasing number of calls to its helpline in the last few weeks for wildlife such as hedgehogs, foxes, and birds being injured in gardens.
Some animals, including fox cubs and hedgehogs, had to be put to sleep due to the extent of their injuries or even passed away before the animal rescue officers arrived.
Fledglings have fallen into hot tubs and nearly drowned, while only one hedghog survived after getting trapped in football netting.
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer, Amy Stirton, said: “Of course, we want the public to enjoy themselves this summer but now that the nice weather has hit people are spending more time doing activities in their gardens and this can cause problems for wildlife.
“Recently I’ve attended jobs where fledglings have been stuck in paddling pools and hot tubs.
“The birds have nearly drowned and are hypothermic by the time they are found.
“They then have to be taken to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre to recover from being waterlogged or have heartbreakingly had to be put to sleep.
“I have also attended incidents of hedgehogs and a fox cub becoming trapped in football netting.
“Hedgehogs have been quite regular visitors to gardens over the last few weeks.
“Sadly only one survived their ordeal.
“Another was dead on arrival as it had been strangled by the net, and three have had to be put to sleep due to the extent of their injuries despite our best efforts to save them.
“Luckily the fox cub I rescued hadn’t been caught in the net long enough for the netting to cut in, however, there is still a risk of compartment syndrome once they are freed. The cub is still receiving ongoing treatment.
“I even attended a magpie rescue where a bird had got stuck in a barbeque.
“The poor thing had managed to completely de-glove its leg trying to get out, which would have been very painful and distressing for the bird.
“Simply tidying away any football and badminton netting, fishing equipment, paddling pools, and securing hot tubs could be the difference between life and death for some of Scotland’s wildlife.
“Please enjoy the summer months, but please also be vigilant so that visiting wildlife can too.”
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