March 17 2014 Latest news:
Monday, December 30, 2013
More than £90,000 has been donated to help care for seal pups washed up during this month’s storms.
Since the tidal surge, more than 100 seal pups have come through the doors of the RSCPA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre.
Orphaned or separated from their mothers during the floods, the pups were left with little to no chance of survival before they were rescued and brought to West Norfolk.
Now many of the youngsters are beginning to make progress and it is hoped that the first wave could be released back into the wild in the coming weeks.
But feeding and caring for so many has not been easy and staff and volunteers have had to work around the clock.
Each pup costs around £22.50 to feed a week and with the centre over capacity, the goodwill of the public has been vital.
Centre manager Alison Charles said: “The generosity of people has been unbelievable. Last time I checked we were up to £91,000 which is incredible. That is a lot of money coming in.
“We have also had people giving sweets and chocolate which is a nice thing for the staff.”
As well as donations and sweets the centre has received a refrigerator to help staff prepare the pups’ feed.
Mrs Charles said: “It has gone quite well actually – we are down to the 80s rather than 100s but they are still coming in dribs and drabs.
“There is an end in sight. Some are eating by themselves and we have the first two who are big enough to go in an outside pool.
“They are still a little way off being ready to be released, I’m hoping just a couple of weeks. The staff are absolutely exhausted, but this is why we do the job.”
As the seals get bigger and stronger, feeding them becomes a harder task as they are able to put up more of a fight.
But seeing them returning to health makes it all worth it for the staff and volunteers.
You can donate to the RSPCA’s Emergency Seal Appeal at http://choices.rspca.org.uk/Appeal/seal-appeal#