Wings splayed,apparently lifeless, things looked grim for the hapless bat spotted in the garden of an anxious Eaglesham householder.
They’re a protected species, and this one clearly needed more protecting than most ... if it was even still alive.
A call to animai charity the Scottish SPCA brought a rescue squad racing to the scene – only for the bat’s would-be saviours to discover that the stricken denizen of the night was in fact plastic, and a toy.
Luckily the SPCA experts see so many real cases of badly injured, maltreated or abandoned animals that they were able to see the funny side of this particular non-emergency.
Inspector Stacey Erwin 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 a plastic bat.
“The caller had realised shortly before I arrived but it was too late to cancel.
“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 isn’t the first time the Scottish SPCA has experienced a case of mistaken identity.
Stacey said: “Last year one of my colleagues responded to a report of a distressed 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 and we’d encourage anyone with concerns about an animal to call our helpline on 03000 999 999.”