DENZIL the degu is enjoying a new lease of life after he was rescued from the rubbish tip.

The rodent from Chile was in a cage that had been put out for recycling and was discovered just as he was about to be thrown in a skip at the Nuffield Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

Site operative Marcel Grech immediately took a shine to the little fella and took him home, much to the delight of his daughter Charlotte.

The council is now checking its CCTV footage to see if it can identify who left the cage and is urging anyone with information to get in touch with one of their animal welfare officers.

Mark Lorimer, site supervisor at the Borough of Poole, said: "We find all sorts on site but we were genuinely stunned to find a live pet among items put aside for recycling.

"It was only after Mike Maple, one of the operatives, went to sort through the items intended for our ‘new to you’ service last Wednesday that the degu was discovered inside its cage. It gave him a bit of a shock to say the least.

"We think it had been left there for a number of days before being found but luckily it was still alive, albeit very hungry."

Marcel said Denzil was doing well in his new home. He said: "I’m a big animal lover, so after animal welfare officers had checked it over I offered to take the degu home to look after it.

"He’s doing really well and my daughter Charlotte, who loves animals just as much as I do, is really pleased with our new housemate. Degus are usually housed in groups but he seems quite happy at the moment and my daughter is spoiling him with a lot of attention, as well as a new cage to replace the old one."

Anyone with any information should call the duty animal welfare officer on 01202 261700 during the day or 0800 506050 in the evening.