Joshua the fiberglass donkey. Photo courtesy Scottish SPCA
AIRDRIE, Scotland, June 11 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Scotland said a reported distressed donkey left tied to a backyard fence turned out to be a fiberglass garden ornament.
The Scottish SPCA said investigators responded to a report Tuesday of a donkey tied to a fence without shelter in Airdrie and they arrived to discover the caller was either a prankster or not an expert in donkey identification.
"The caller stated the donkey was kept in the back garden of a house in Airdrie and tied to a fence without any shelter," Senior Inspector Bill Little said. "When I arrived, the owner asked me if I wanted a laugh and when she showed me the ornamental donkey it certainly gave me a chuckle."
"The donkey is made of fiberglass and goes by the name Joshua. He used to be kept at the side of the house and could be seen by people walking by so it's possible someone called us as a practical joke," he said. "However, it may be that someone was genuinely concerned as it is a rather lifelike model."
Georgie Baxendale, Joshua's owner, said she was amused by the confusion.
"This is the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life. I used to have two donkeys and bought Joshua as a reminder," she said. "He's very eye-catching and has appeared in many nativity plays over the years. I think this could have been a joke or maybe the person who reported it just doesn't know donkeys very well as real ones don't stand as still as Joshua!"