ONE of these rodents is a gerbil and the other is a hamster. They met through the most unlikely of circumstances.

Ivy — the gerbil — was spotted and caught by a member of the public as she scurried along a Bolton road.

The hamster, named Holly by RSPCA staff, was far less spritely when she was discovered in a gutter.

Holly was found in Great Lever by a man who initially thought she was dead.

He warmed her up in his coat and she then sprung to life.

Now, the two rodent pals are spending their hours at the RSPCA’s base in St George’s Road, Bolton.

Kathy Kay, the animal charity’s branch administrator, said: “It is very unusual to find these creatures wandering the streets.

“They can escape and become lost in houses, but they are not normally as adventurous as this.

“I can’t believe that two have been found like this in a week.”

Holly was the first to be found, last Tuesday, in a gutter in Roxalina Street, Great Lever.

Ivy was found running down the middle of Bramley Road, Sharples, on Friday.

The gerbil was caught when a man shouted and startled it. He then picked Ivy up and handed it into the RSPCA.

Ms Kay said: “I wouldn’t normally recommend hamsters or gerbils going to a young family as they can be quite nippy.

“But both of these animals are really friendly, so I think they would be suitable for a family with older children.

“However, they would need to be kept in separate cages or separate homes.”

Both are currently in the care of Ms Kay. The RSPCA also has other pets that need homes, including rabbits, cats and dogs.

Anyone interested in offering a home to Holly, Ivy or any other animal should contact the RSPCA’s Bolton branch on 01204 521160. The charity will ask whoever takes the animals as pets to make a donation towards its work.