Sunday, December 6, 2009

RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre Prepares For Busy Seal Pup Season

All signs point to a busy Christmas for The RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre with the mixture of bad weather and the start of the pupping season.

The Centre, which this year celebrated 21 years of seal rescues, currently has 35 seals, including most recently, two from Ireland, two from the North East and one from Jersey.

Centre manager, Alison Charles said “We take in seals from all over the country because of the specialist facilities we have developed caring for seals over the years.

“It is the grey seal pupping season but the huge storms hitting the South Coast recently have led to large numbers of orphaned pups needing care as they are too young to survive on their own. Our job is to nurse sick, injured and weak animals back to health and prepare them for a
life in the wild as soon as they are able to fend for themselves.”

Each year, East Winch cares for approximately 150 seal pups. It costs £20 per week and it takes approximately four months to care for and rehabilitate each pup.

In order to ensure this vital work can continue, businesses locally are being given the opportunity to sponsor a seal and give it a name for a minimum donation of £10.

Some local shops have already taken the opportunity to support the initiative including ‘Knickerbox’. Staff have sponsored a grey seal pup that came into the centre from Jersey where she was found orphaned by the British Divers and Marine Life Rescue and named her after the shop. Knickerbox was transferred to the Guernsey Society for the Protection of Animals and then flown to Southampton. She first went to the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Somerset before she finally came to East Winch on Friday 13 November for specialist treatment.

Knickerbox weighs just 9.4kgs and still has her white baby coat.

Three other pups came to East Winch at the same time. ‘Animal’ came from Boscastle in Cornwall and has respiratory problems; ‘Jane Norman’ came all the way from the Scilly Isles and ‘Iceland’ came from St Ives and has a deep infected wound on his chin.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a seal can contact the centre on 0300 123 0709, email or write to RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, East Winch, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE32 1NR.

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