TWO abandoned badger cubs are now in safe hands after being rescued.

Bailey and Bramble are being looked after by members of Gwent Badger Group and are making good progress after their shaky start.

Chairman Steve Clark said: "Normally we would not come across any abandoned cubs until mid to late April when they are eight to ten weeks but these two came into our care in early March."

Bailey was found among hay bales in a farm building and weighed 630 grams. He was thought to be about four weeks old as his eyes had not opened.

Since then, he has grown to about two and a half kilos and is a boisterous handful.

"Everything he comes in contact with gets the chewing treatment including us and the clothes we are wearing," said GBG vice-chairman Dave Cooksey.

Bramble was also rescued from a farm and is being looked after by Mr Clark. He weighed in at just 430 grams.

"He was so tiny it was frightening to hold him. I estimated his age to be between two and three weeks."

For the first 48 hours Bramble was fed using a tiny syringe before progressing to a bottle. After just two weeks his weight more than doubled.

GWB were grateful to the farmers who contacted them out of concern for the cubs' welfare.

"Modern hay baling farm equipment could spell disaster for small mammals such as Bailey, but there are still caring farmers out there," said Mr Cooksey.

Bramble and Bailey will be weaned and then undergo stringent TB tests. If they are negative the badgers will be prepared for release back to the wild.