Video: Animal lovers’ donation will feed Norfolk’s orphaned seals for a month

Eliane and Chris Fairfax feed the one of the seals caught up in the tidal surge in December, which are now being looked after at the RSPCA centre in East Winch. Picture: Matthew Usher. Eliane and Chris Fairfax feed the one of the seals caught up in the tidal surge in December, which are now being looked after at the RSPCA centre in East Winch. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
9:17 AM

A couple whose company donated £20,000 to the appeal to save seals orphaned by the December storms have visited the Norfolk wildlife hospital where they are being cared for.

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Staff at the RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre are looking after almost 100 common and grey seal pups. Insurance brokers Chris and Elaine Fairfax, whose company Animal Friends insures 400,000 cats, dogs and horses, travelled from their home in Wiltshire to join them for feeding time.

“I saw them on the news, it was something that really tugged at the heart strings,” said Mrs Fairfax. “We decided we were going to give £70,000 to animal charities in December, we saw this as the top priority.”

Animal Friends has donated £1.5m to animal charities since the Fairfaxes launched thne business 16 years ago.

“It’s become very successful, it’s grown significantly and it’s enabled us to do more and more for animal charities,” said Mr Fairfax.

“It’s a personal passion. We met through our passion for animals. We were lawyers, we ran a law firm.

“We thought what do we want to do for the rest of our lives, do we want to be lawyers or do something more rewarding.”

East Winch took in just over 100 pups after the storms, with most coming from colonies on the north-east Norfolk coast, whose pups were born weeks before the tidal surge.

Centre manager Alison Charles said the Fairfaxes’ donation would buy a month’s worth of fish for the seals. “We try to build them up really fast, piling the weight on so we can get them back out as fast as we can,” she said. “The seals are looking really well, so we’re getting there.”

Well-wishers donated more than £100,000 after the RSPCA launched an appeal towards the cost of caring for the animals, which are fed more than 20lbs of mackerel and herring each a day.

“Thanks to everyone who gave something from money to jugs to put the fish soup in,” said Ms Charles. “One lady drove all the way down from Northampton with a brand new fridge, we were bowled over. We’ve had so manmy kind messages from people.”

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