An exhausted fox floating on rubbish in the Water of Leith and a poisonous tarantula in West Lothian - these are the SSPCA's most 'unusual' 2019 rescues

Fox spotted floating on debris

The fox was rescued from debris in the Water of Leith in July
The fox was rescued from debris in the Water of Leith in July

ANIMAL charity the Scottish SPCA has revealed its most unusual rescues of 2019 - including a fox stranded on debris in the Water of Leith and a tarantula found in a wheelie bin in West Lothian.

The fox rescue - reported by the Evening News at the time - came after tons of rubbish had accumulated in the water at the Shore in Leith in July, causing an outcry from residents.

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The SSPCA said: "We were alerted to a fox that had fallen into the Water of Leith. It was staying afloat on the debris and rubbish that had collected on the surface. The poor fox had become exhausted trying to get out of the water.

The SSPCA worked with the Fire Service and Coastguard to reach the animal

"With the help of the Fire Service and Coastguard, we reached the fox using a boat. We took him to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre for much needed rest and recovery. He was released back into the wild three days later.

"A big clean-up was done on the water of Leith due to this rescue. This is of huge benefit to the wildlife and aquatic creatures in the area."

And the tarantula alert was raised after a householder got a shock putting their rubbish out.

The charity said: "An unsuspecting member of the public was putting rubbish in their wheelie bin and found a tarantula sitting on top of black bags.

"After a frantic call to our animal helpline, senior animal rescue officer Sarah Auldsmith attended the address and safely collected the poisonous spider.

"From experience, when tarantulas shed their exoskeleton, they can appear deceased as they don't move. We heard from the owner and this is exactly what happened! Please be aware that your arachnid friend might not be dead, just shedding!"

Other unusual rescues by the SSPCA last year included an otter was spotted on a street in Inverurie, a stowaway snake which a woman found in her suitcase after her holiday to Australia and a seal pup found in a Greenock car park