Animal welfare workers are desperately trying to find a new home for 23 rabbits found cold and starving at the side of the road last week.

The rabbits were rescued by a couple, who delivered them to RSPCA’s Southridge animal centre in Packhorse Lane Ridge, Potters Bar.

The underweight animals were crammed into several boxes, one of which contained five baby bunnies huddled together for warmth.

Many of the rabbits were in a poor condition, including one with an untreated abscess on his nose.

Anna White, manager at Southridge, said: “Most people expect to open a few presents around Christmas, but not us. We got boxes of bunnies instead.

“The poor rabbits have been through a bit of an ordeal. When we got them out of the boxes they were obviously dehydrated and starving. They gorged on all the food and drink we gave them.”

The centre is currently caring for the 23 rabbits, which have been given suitably festive names, including Tinsel and Joseph.

One white rabbit with black rings round his eyes has been named The Snowman.

RSPCA staff are hoping to rehome the rabbits this Christmas. For more information contact Southridge on 0300 123 0704.