THE Scottish SPCA is caring for a pine marten who is just 3-4 weeks old.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity was called after he was found orphaned at the side of the road in Perth at the beginning of April.
The pine marten is now being looked after at the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross, where he has been named Marvel.
Centre manager Colin Seddon said, “Marvel is currently being hand reared by our Assistant Manager Jonny Appleyard. He has been taking his milk from a bottle and we will hopefully be able to wean him onto solid food in the next couple of weeks when his eyes open.
“Orphaned pine martens are quite often reared as a group but he’s the only one in our care at the moment. Like other mustelids they need play and interaction to develop natural behaviour. As he has not had any siblings to play with Jonny will have to assume that role and play with him several times a day to prevent him becoming too distressed and bored.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of pine martens we treat with most of them being orphans. If we get an adult into our care it is generally due to a traumatic injury and we will always release them back into the area they came from – unless persecution is likely. In this case we will find a more suitable location.
“Pine martens are very rare and protected by law. They are currently being introduced back into parts of the UK where they were once persecuted to extinction.
“Once Marvel is fully independent and behaving naturally he will be released at a specially chosen release site with the land owner’s permission.”
Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed wild animal should call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.