A WALK in the countryside turned into a rescue operation for Selwyn Jones when he stumbled across a colony of guinea pigs.

The animals had made their home in undergrowth alongside a copse in Butterwick, near Brawby.

Mr Jones and a friend attempted to rescue them. He said: “It was quite a feat, especially as there was a bull in the field watching us.”

They retrieved four, but believe there are still one or two more living wild.

Mr Jones is currently caring for the guinea pigs.

“The fact that they were living in the wild is a sign of climate change because they are fit and in good condition despite the time of year,” said Mr Jones.

A spoksman for the RSPCA said that the abandoning of pets by their owners was on the rise as a result of the recession.

It is not acceptable to just dump an animal because help can be found with such things as subsidised veterinary costs,” he said. “Our centres are full with cats, dog and guinea pigs in particular and the situation shows no sign of improving.”