Animal welfare officers have called on the public to contact them if they think a snare has been set illegally after a fox in Midlothian had a lucky escape.
The Scottish SPCA was alerted after a member of the public found the fox trapped in a snare set on a fence, struggling to free itself.
Animal rescue officer Fiona Thorburn said: “The fox made a lucky escape, he wasn’t too badly injured thanks to a member of the public finding him while walking his dog.
“He’s been taken to our national wildlife centre in Fishcross to recover from his injuries and he’ll be released back into the wild once he’s fit and well again.”
An undercover inspector from the charity’s special investigations unit said: “We are looking to raise awareness about the dangers of these snares.
“In this case the fox has managed to avoid serious harm, but snares that are set in an illegal manner will tighten as the animal moves, so if they can’t get free it’s wholly possible for them to be strangled.
“There is strict legislation to adhere to when setting a snare in order for it to remain within the law and failure to comply with these conditions could result in an animal becoming injured or killed, and could constitute a criminal offence.
“If anyone does find a snare, we ask that you leave it untouched and to contact us if you believe it to have been set illegally.
“This snare in this case will have been set illegally. They are likely to be attached to the bottom rung of a wire fence and are not fitted with any stops or tags, which is a legal requirement for snares.”
Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.