A pinched puffin sculpture is to return to his perch after being found safe and well.
The theft of the carved bird caused a flap in Cellardyke, where he watched over passers-by from his roost in James Street.
Just two days after he was reported missing, the wooden statue was found beside the village’s Kilrenny Mill Caravan Park and police swooped to the scene to escort him home.
The three-and-a-half foot tall ornament, carved using a chainsaw by Stuart Provan, of Pittenweem, was chained and bolted to his plinth atop a high wall where he formed part of a floral display by Anstruther and Cellardyke in Bloom.
Police Scotland launched an investigation after the puffin’s nest was found empty on Monday morning.
A force spokesperson said on Wednesday: “We are pleased to confirm that the puffin has been found safe and well.
“He was reported missing on Monday April 17 from his usual nesting place in James Street, Cellardyke.
“Enquiries into the theft continue and we would like to thank the public for their tweets and other assistance in tracing our feathered friend.”
Cellardyke resident Rob Glendinning, who tends the display, said he intended to secure the puffin using concrete to ensure it stays put.
He said: “It’s good to get it back. I thought that was the last we had seen of it but thanks to the power of the media and social media it must have been too hot to handle.”
It is thought the thief came prepared and used a breeze block to climb up to the puffin in the early hours of Monday.
One of only two made and estimated to be worth around £250, the sculpture is a popular landmark in Cellardyke and much-admired by walkers passing through on the Fife Coastal Path.
It was gifted to the community three years ago by a local resident.
Kate Shearer, of the bloom group, said the thief had taken something which gave pleasure to a lot of people.