A MAN who brightened up the dark days of lockdown by attaching giant cuddly animal toys to trees and his car was shocked when he discovered a stuffed tiger had been hacked down from his vehicle.

Patrick Gray came up with the idea of attaching the objects to trees and lamp-posts on the A814 to cheer up drivers and pedestrians after he held a surplus of all sorts of toys when cleaning out homes and buildings.

But he called police after discovering that one of the toys had been attacked by a passer-by.

Patrick said: “I do rubbish clearances, and everything folk throw out I end up with.

“Some of it is too good to throw out and due to Covid-19 I couldn’t give them to folk who need them around about me.

“I thought to myself, ‘what am I going to do with all these toys I get from clearances?’.

“I’ve got my ladders here and it only took me two minutes to put each one up. The community here know it’s a good thing.“It’s on the road from Helensburgh to Cardross, some on lamp-posts and some on trees, however one day a machine came along and removed them from the lampposts unfortunately.”

Not only the locals enjoyed Patrick’s funny gestures, with travellers from all over reportedly coming to check out the toys.

“People were amused by it,” he continued. “Folk with high-end and expensive cameras were taking photos of all of them up and down the road.”

Unfortunately Patrick discovered recently that one passer-by hadn’t been quite as amused as the rest – when he realised that a stuffed tiger tied across his car had been hacked away from the vehicle in a bizarre act of vandalism.

And it’s not only high up fixtures that Patrick has attached them to, with a pet tiger tied across his car proving very popular with those who come across it.

Unfortunately, the tiger was a victim of an attack recently, as it was cut down from the car in a bizarre incident.

Patrick continued: “You’ve got to look at the funny side - when the police came out they had to take pictures of the victim, and there was Scotland’s finest at my door taking pictures of this stuffed tiger that’s been hacked at.

“It was sad, because I’ve a friend who stays in Cardross who has mental health issues and who likes to come out and see the tiger. She washes it and always talks about it. It’s nice to see.”

The tiger has since been reattached to the car.

“The whole thing wasn’t really tailored for Covid, it’s just the way I am, doing something a bit funny,” he added.

“I done it years ago - tying a cuddly toy to my vehicle. It just comes naturally.”