WATCH: Squirrel Ted makes progress after bruising encounter as Wester Ross campaign gathers momentum
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THE plight of a red squirrel clipped by a car on a stretch of Wester Ross road has been highlighted in a bid to encourage motorists to slow down.
Ted, as he has been named, was injured after being hit on the Lekmelm stretch of the A835 outside Ullapool – scene of a successful campaign some years ago local by schoolchildren to have special "slow down" signs erected to protect the popular red squirrel population there.
It's an area where squirrels cross over to feed and forage on the loch side of the road – dicing with death on what can be a bust stretch with ferry traffic.
He's now in the care of Noel Hawkins, an activist who helped that earlier campaign and the Ullapool Sea Savers group it ultimately spawned. He sought veterinary advice and declares Ted better but still not 100 per cent and nursing an injured paw.
He has made significant progress and his story is captivating a growing audience of admirers online.
Renewing an appeal to motorists to be mindful of squirrels, he said: "They really are very special and quite rare elsewhere in the UK so we want to look after ours."
Four years ago, the SOS (Save Our Squirrels) appeal reached thousands of passengers using a Wester Ross ferry link thanks to the efforts of Ullapool schoolchildren concerned about the welfare of the bushy-tailed charmers.
The Ullapool Sea Savers group have dramatically raised the profile of the need to take care of the marine environment through beach and lay-by cleans, lobbying of politicians and sharing information.
Their work has been highlighted by Prince William in a documentary screened around the world and on BBC's popular Autumn Watch.