An animal rescue team was called out to save a stricken bat that turned out to be a plastic toy
But it turned out to be a toy vampire bat made of plastic.
The Scottish SPCA responded to a report of an injured bat that was apparently unable to fly in Eaglesham, Renfrewshire.
But when they went to the address they discovered the “creature” lying on top of a bin was a toy.
Inspector Stacey Erwin said she was alerted by a concerned call to the charity’s animal helpline – but she ended up seeing the funny side. She said: “The caller looked down from her window and saw a lifeless looking bat on her bin.
“I went to check on it and expected to give advice on a grounded bat or maybe torn wings but discovered it was plastic. The caller had realised shortly before I arrived but it was too late to cancel.
SPCA was alerted by a concerned call to the charity’s animal helpline
“This job can be very tough as we deal with severely injured animals on a daily basis, so it’s quite nice when something like this makes us smile.”
This job can be very tough, so it’s quite nice when something like this makes us smile
Inspector Stacey Erwin
This isn’t the first time the SSPCA has experienced a case of mistaken identity. In November 2013 rescuers raced to help a collie that appeared to have been struck by a car in Glasgow, only to find it a cuddly toy with the stuffing knocked out by the side of the road.
A couple of months earlier a “distressed” owl turned out to be a piece of garden furniture.
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Stacey added: “Last year one of my colleagues responded to a report of a bird stuck on a roof but when she arrived she discovered the bird was in fact a shoe.
“Although incidents like these are false alarms, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.” Plastic vampire bats are often used as Hallowe’en props, but the real thing is native to the Americas. They are the only mammals that feed entirely on blood and the three species of vampires hunt after dark.
The common vampire bat feeds mostly on the blood of mammals
The common vampire bat feeds mostly on the blood of mammals such as horses and cattle, although humans have been bitten too. The hairy-legged vampire bat and white-winged vampire bats feed on the blood of birds.
Anyone with concerns about an animal is encouraged to call the Scottish SPCA’s helpline on 03000 999 999.