A woman who found a pregnant hare lying dead in the road performed an emergency operation to deliver its baby.
Caring Leila Goss, 25, spotted the mother hare after it was killed by a car and immediately noticed its swollen stomach.
She picked up the animal, which was still warm, and rushed her home to perform a caesarean section to try to save its young.
Animal lover: Leila Goss saved the life of the unborn baby hare, called Ferret, by performing a caesarean section on its dead mother
She cut open the hare and brought one of her unconscious litter back to life - by draining fluid from its lungs and blowing down its nose.
Leila, of Honiton, Devon, said the baby weighed just 4oz when it was born and it has never known the wild so she has decided to keep it as a pet.
She said: ‘We were coming home and there was a car which had stopped in the road which had its warning lights on.
‘The car must have seen our lights and drove off. We thought they must have hit something, so we stopped and there was a big hare lying in the road.
‘She was still warm, so obviously they had just hit her. When we got her home, I cut her open and there were two babies inside. One was quite floppy.
‘The second one looked a bit better so I swung him around gently to get the fluid out of his lungs, then I gently blew down his nose and it started gasping for air.
‘I dried the baby off a bit more and wrapped it up in a towel and put it on a hot water bottle.
‘Its breathing became steadier and the legs started to move around and within an hour it was sitting upright, looking like a little hare should do.’
Quick thinking: Leila swung the baby hare around to get rid of liquid in its lungs and resuscitated it by blowing through its nose
Leila, a laboratory assistant at a donkey sanctuary, was driving home at around 10pm on May 3 when she found the adult hare lying in the middle of the road.
She was later advised to have the youngster put down because they often die before they are three weeks' old.
But the baby, now five-weeks-old, has amazingly survived after being raised on a diet of lamb's milk and is nearly ready to move on to green food.
Leila will not be able to determine the leveret's sex until it is three months old - and so has chosen two potential names.
She said: ‘I'm going to call it Verity if it's a girl and Kenny if it's a boy. At the moment I'm calling him 'Ferret' because I just couldn't get my head round having a little hare in the house.
‘It's in my bedroom during the day, living in a big box and gets fed in the living room. It's really sweet when it follows me down to the living room when it is time for a feed.
‘At night it goes out for a few hours, on the grass in a run. I’m gradually trying to introduce it to more and more green food now.
‘I've been told that they stay wild enough to be able to be released, but to be honest I don't think we will be able to do that.
Caes-hare-ian section performed by animal lover to rescue baby animal from womb of dead mother | Mail Online