AN animal lover used to caring for abandoned rabbits has come to the aid of two baby hares.

Gwen Butler, from Bunny Burrows rescue centre, in Richmond, North Yorkshire, has spent more than 20 years rescuing rabbits and guinea pigs.

But she had never cared for hares until two were brought in by workers upgrading the A1 between Leeming and Barton.

Mrs Butler said contractors spotted the two leverets, which were about a week old, amid the construction site with no sign of their mother.

They managed to catch one and bring it to the rescue centre and then found its sibling the next day.

Mrs Butler said she had to take advice on caring for the animals from an expert.

They started off on a mixture of goat's and evaporated milk, and have now moved on to hay and dandelions.

"I've never looked after hares and it's been an absolute delight," she added.

"They are amazing animals - so different to rabbits. They have thick, curly fur, big eyes with a ring of gold around them - they look very mystical."

The animals are now five-weeks-old and will be returned to the wild in another couple of weeks.

"One of them started to growl and tried to box me so I think they are wanting to get back," Mrs Butler said.

Asked if she had named the animals, Mrs Butler replied: "No, any animals that get a name I wont to keep so I haven't done that."