Two East Lothian teenagers cared for a Canada goose chick after she was attacked by a cat.

Friends Declan Longmuir, 16, and Keiron Rattray, 19, looked after the gosling they named Pip for six months after rescuing her from the feline’s clutches in May.

They released her back into the River Esk at Musselburgh earlier this month.

The friends were walking along the river in May when they spotted a black cat with the chick in its mouth.

Declan, a former Preston Lodge High School pupil who now lives in Fisherrow, said: “We ran after it and the cat dropped the gosling and ran off.”

Keiron, a former pupil of Musselburgh Grammar School who has experience helping and raising animals through voluntary work with the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), picked up the chick and they took it home.

Declan said: “We tried phoning the SSPCA but, because it was a foreign bird, they couldn’t touch it or do anything with it as they only cover native animals.”

The pair kept the badly injured bird inside for the first three weeks until the scars on her head and neck were healed enough for her to go outside.

She then enjoyed living in the garden with chickens, who took their feathered friend to their hearts.

Six months on, they decided Pip was strong enough to go it alone in the wild again and released her into the River Esk on November 8.

Declan said: “We didn’t really want to leave her side but it was getting late so we decided to pop back the next morning and check on her.

“Seeing her with her new goose friends made us really happy and proud of the goose she had become.

“I’m just glad that Pip survived for all she has been through as a chick.”

Sarah Gregory, SSPCA chief inspector, said: “Canadian geese are classed as a non-native species by the UK Government. If an injured Canadian goose is reported to us we will attend but we would not be able to release the goose back into the wild as we do not have the necessary permissions. If we did rescue a Canadian goose, we would have to euthanise it as we are bound by the law.

“We would not recommend anyone other than an expert hand-rearing a wild animal.

“If anyone finds a sick or injured animal, please report it to our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”