Finlay, was found as an orphan at just 3 weeks of age. He was found in the Highlands of Scotland, close to death, dehydrated, hypothermic and malnourished. He was given intensive emergency care, and vet checked. Even at this early age he showed clear diagnostic Scottish wildcat coat markings and so he was handed over to us at Wildcat Haven, so that he could undergo rehabilitation under the expert care of our team. He was due to be released in the next few weeks during springtime. Scottish wildcats are protected by law, but absolutely no license is required for the rehabilitation and release of a Scottish wildcat or indeed any other protected species such as an otter or badger. A license would only be required for permanent captivity, but such an idea would be abhorrent to us. As an organisation, we are anti-captivity. Finlay was being rehabilitated in a huge, purpose built, naturalistic enclosure and he had developed form a tiny, helpless creature that was close to death, to a magnificent animal that was almost ready for release. Finlay was being rehabilitated in Wales as that is where the rehabilitation enclosure was housed. The right to roam law in Scotland makes it very problematic to construct an equivalent rehabilitation enclosure in Scotland, even on private land, as walkers, campers, photographers, campers etc would all be able to approach the enclosure, which of course would negatively impact Finlay's rehabilitation. He would of course be released back into the wild in Scotland and that was scheduled for Spring 2022.
However, on the 14th February 2022 everything change. A team of 4 police officers without any warrant, or paperwork, and without any prior discussion, arrived at the location of his rehabilitation enclosure and seized him. Such disruption at this crucial stage will be absolutely catastrophic to his rehabilitation, and with every day that passes, his chances of a successful return to the wild diminishes. The police will not tell us where he is, what conditions he is being kept in, or the expertise of the people who are holding him. We are devastated and urgently need him returned to his enclosure so that he can continue his rehabilitation. We are deeply worried about his welfare at this critical time in his life. We desperately need your help to raise awareness of this issue and hopefully hasten his return. The reference number published by North Wales police is 21000883036.