A BURIED hamster who “came back to life” managed to dig his way out of his own grave.

Owner David Eyley, pictured, believed four-year-old Rhino, pictured and inset, had died when he found him lifeless in his box one morning.

Wanting to do the decent thing, the 49-year-old painter and decorator gave Rhino a good send off and buried him in his box, in a two foot deep hole he dug in the back garden.

The next day he went to work but was amazed to receive a phone call from neighbour Sandy Humphreys asking if Rhino had escaped – because he was scurrying around her garden.

The mammal had “come back to life” after being buried in the garden and managed to dig his way out of his premature grave.

Father-of-three Mr Eyley, of Wantage, said: “When I found him in his box in the morning his was limp and motionless and I presumed he had died. Whether the sudden cold snap last week had made him go into some sort of hibernation mode, I don’t know.”

The beloved pet, which has now been renamed Jesus by the family which includes mum Wendy, daughter Bayley, 23, and twins Jake and Emma, 20, after appearing to rise from the dead.

Rhino, named after his alter ego in the Disney movie Bolt, was his hyperactive self yesterday, running around in his box after his ordeal.