Police have warned the residents of Callander to be on the lookout for a raccoon which escaped from a wildlife centre four months ago.
Various sightings of a raccoon have been received by police in the town, which is near Stirling, more than 10 miles from its home at the Auchingarrich wildlife centre in Crieff, Perthshire.
The male raccoon made its break for freedom in January after storms caused damage to its enclosure.
News of sightings of the “elusive” animal have been a relief to the centre’s owner Andrew Scott, who feared that the animal may have died.
“It’s good news but they are such elusive animals we might never see him again. You could be standing next to one in a tree and have no idea it was there.
“It would be good to have him back especially as he has survived the harsh winter.”
Police in Callander have issued a public warning not to approach the raccoon.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “The raccoon is not dangerous, however it may give a nasty bite should it be cornered.
“It is an adult male and roughly the size of a domestic cat. A young child could easily mistake it for being a pet, lift it and get a nasty bite.”
Raccoons are nocturnal and likely to hide in trees during the daytime. Police have said it will not attack anybody but if distressed it could become aggressive.
The spokeswoman added: “If you come across the raccoon do not approach it but call the police immediately on 101.”