Cruelty and careless drivers blamed for spate of orphaned ducklings at RSPCA’s Norfolk animal hospital near King’s Lynn

A Norfolk wildlife hospital today appealed to drivers to watch out for duck families on the roads, after taking in a spate of orphaned ducklings.

It's also urging more tolerance towards wildlife after reports that many were hurt or orphaned by deliberate cruelty.

Alison Charles, manager of the RSPCA's Norfolk Wildlife Centre, said one duckling was recently stamped on, another pelted with toys and several others were orphaned after a car was seen to swerve and run their mother over.

Last year 1753 mallard ducks brought into the RSPCA's four centres in need of care – more than any other species.

So far this spring, some 550 ducklings have been admitted - more than half of them at East Winch, with 45 arriving in just one day.

Many were injured in road accidents or orphaned after their parents were killed. But others had suffered deliberate attacks.

Alison Charles said: 'We would urge people to take extra care on the roads at this time of year and keep your eyes open for any young wildlife which may be crossing them – especially ducks which seem to get a particularly rough deal.

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'We have more ducklings than I can count at the moment – it is a real problem and sadly one which we tend to see every year.

'Some are here because of genuine accidents but many are the result of deliberate acts which can be pretty brutal.

'I have known of far too many cases where people have aimed for duck families in the road, or pelted them with sticks and stones.

'It never fails to shock me how people can be so intentionally cruel.'

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