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RSPCA staff soldiering on as they receive increase in calls during cold snap

PUBLISHED: 16:13 02 March 2018

The RSPCA has answered nearly over 8,000 calls since Sunday. Pictured are some of the seals at the East Winch Wildlife Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

The RSPCA has answered nearly over 8,000 calls since Sunday. Pictured are some of the seals at the East Winch Wildlife Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Animals at a RSPCA centre are being kept safe and warm as West Norfolk continues to freeze.

The RSPCA has answered nearly over 8,000 calls since Sunday. Pictured are some of the seals at the East Winch Wildlife Centre. Picture: Ian BurtThe RSPCA has answered nearly over 8,000 calls since Sunday. Pictured are some of the seals at the East Winch Wildlife Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

More than 300 poorly animals at the East Winch Wildlife Centre are being kept in the warmth whilst others are revelling in the snow.

“All the animals are ok, as only the fitter ones are outside in the weather,” said centre manager Alison Charles.

“The grey seal pups that are in the final stage of their rehabilitation are outside building up their fitness and gaining weight, so don’t appear too bothered by the snow.

“The outside swans and geese are also almost ready for release have a frozen pool but again seem to be fine.”

Icy road conditions has meant some staff have not been able to make it to the centre, but volunteers in other areas have given up their time to cover their shifts.

Ms Charles added: “We are trying to work as normal but have been struggling to get staff in to work and keep the place working.”

With animals to look after and staffing issues to resolve, the centre was hit by another disaster.

“We have had trouble with frozen pipes and boilers,” Ms Charles said. “But our maintenance person has been outside working in these horrible conditions to keep the hospital warm and cosy for our patients and staff.”

Nationally, the animal welfare charity received nearly 8,000 calls since Sunday, which is 300pc more calls than normal for this time of year.

An RSPCA spokesman said the cold weather and icy conditions are stretching RSPCA rescuers to the limit, with the bad weather hampering rescue efforts and travelling between incidents.

In East Winch, 13 patients have been brought in to the centre since Monday as fewer people are venturing out to find them.

The centre is home to hundreds of hedgehogs, as well as seals, swans, deer, ducks, geese, barn owls, tawny owls, kestrels, noctule bats, wood pigeon, gulls, collared dove, otter, heron, buzzard, oyster catcher, starling, toad, frog, grass snake and a badger.

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