Rescue centre overrun by adorable seal pups in wake of record flood surge


Rob Williams@bobjwilliams
Tuesday 10 December 2013 13:28

A rescue centre in Norfolk is full to capacity with 100 adorable seal pups following the recent record flood surge that hit Britain.

Staff at the East Winch Wildlife Centre are now struggling to cope with the influx of rescue pups and have appealed for help in looking after them. Many of the animals are less than three weeks old and were washed up after a tidal surge hit the east coast.

According to the centre each of the pups could require up to five months' rehabilitation after being separated from its mother.

Pups cannot swim or survive without their mother's milk until they have shed their distinctive white fur.

Centre manager Alison Charles said: "We have never had a seal rescue project on a scale as big as this before.

"If it wasn't for us, these seal pups would starve to death. But we really need the public's help because without their donations we simply couldn't do what we do.

"This couldn't have happened at a worse time for the seals.

"We are at the height of the grey seal pupping season, which means most of these poor seals should still be dependent on their mother's milk."

At one breeding ground in Horsey, volunteers counted 440 pups on the beach before the surge and only 177 after it hit.

But National Trust rangers at Blakeney Point, one of the largest colonies with about 1,000 seals and pups, said they had accounted for the vast majority of the seals.

"It would appear that the majority of seals and pups were able to reach higher ground on the sand dunes and escape the worst of the surge," a spokesman said.

The RSPCA has launched a crisis appeal to help care for the orphaned seals.

The charity said it costs £22 a week to feed each seal.

The eventual aim is to returning the animals to the wild.

:: To donate to the RSPCA's appeal, text SEAL01 followed by how much you would like to donate to 70070.

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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