Pine marten kits found orphaned in Highland attic

Niamh and Nara, the two orphaned pine marten kits. Picture: Scotish SPCA
Niamh and Nara, the two orphaned pine marten kits. Picture: Scotish SPCA
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TWO pine marten kits have been found orphaned in an attic in the Highlands.

The seven-week-old female kits were discovered in a house in the Alness area crying for their mother who had not returned to the nest for three days.

The kits are now recovering at the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre at Fishcross near Alloa.

They have been named Niamh and Nara, which is Gaelic for bright and happy.

Centre Manager Colin Seddon said, “Niamh and Nara were weak and hungry when they first arrived in our care but they are now in very good condition and feeding themselves.

“We understand that the mother had been seen visiting the nest over a number of weeks but she had been losing condition and appeared slow and unwell before she disappeared.

“The finder left the kits for a few days to allow the mother to return but their cries became persistent and it was clear they were very hungry and in need of our help.

“We have one staff member looking after them to minimise the risk of them becoming tame and we will gradually withdraw human contact to allow them to develop as truly wild creatures.

“Once they are fully fit and able to fend for themselves they will be released at the time pine martens would naturally be leaving their mothers, which is between mid August and mid October this year.

“We will release Niamh and Nara in an area of low pine marten density to strengthen the existing population and encourage growth.”

Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed animal should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.