Hedge End, Hants - Early reports indicated the beast had been seen 'lying near some Bushes' beside a smashed-up SUV.
Luckily police choppers tracked it down amid a breakout of local mass hysteria about a 'club-wielding Elin Nordegren lookalike' prowling the hedgerows.
The stuffed impostor was then airlifted aboard before an exhaustive forensic examination finally confirmed it a hoax.
"For a few tense hours it was touch and go," Hedge End Cricket Club chair Sir Monty Cockpit told reporters, "with the local Parish Council bracing itself for a rash of Florida hookers.
"Lord only knows the consequences if it had been real."
Hampshire Search & Rescue has now launched a probe as a mounting police furor condemned the prank.
"Someone sure made a fool of the cops," local golf course sources commented.
"Wanna see a pic of some nesting blue tits?"