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This is the curious ‘tail’ about the pine marten who turned out to be a fox and definitely not a baby bear.
When guests out walking above Bill Dempster’s holiday Tin Church on Seil came across a tiny breathing ball of fur they thought they had found an abandoned bear cub.
Puzzled at their find, they took photos and showed them to Mr Dempster back at the church, who thought it was a pine marten and alerted the SSPCA.
Photos were sent on to the charity who confirmed it looked like a pine marten and dispatched an officer.
Meanwhile, Mr Dempster and his guests went to the rescue armed with some fur and a bucket.
‘Our guests thought they’d found a tiny baby bear. They were convinced of it but we had to explain we don’t get bears up here.
‘We walked back up to the spot where they’d seen it and it was still there, all by itself, so we wrapped it in a fur, put it in a bucket then took it home to put in the airing cupboard and keep it warm.
‘The poor thing looked near death but we gave it a bit of food and it started to come round. It loved having its chin tickled, it was extremely friendly,’ he said.
And added: ‘When the SSPCA officer came, we discovered it was a baby fox and not a bear or a pine marten but they do look very similar at seven or eight weeks old.
‘I’ve never seen a fox up here. I live in London most of the time and foxes are everywhere – they even come through the back door now and again – but I’ve never seen a fox on Seil.
‘So the baby bear that then became a pine marten eventually turned out to be a fox. The SSPCA took him back to Stirling to be cared for there.
‘He certainly had us all fooled. Everyone who saw the pictures we took thought he was a pine marten, even the fellas at the Tigh an Truish pub – well, all of them except Gregor who said he knew it was fox!’
A SSPCA spokeswoman said: ‘Our wildlife centre are monitoring the little fox as it has a heart murmur and distended tummy. Has been wormed and is otherwise bright and feisty, eating really well.’