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14 December 2013, 06:08
Staff and volunteers at an RSPCA centre near Kings Lynn say they're overwhelmed by the public's generosity as donations have poured in following the rescue of orphaned seal pups.
A large number of the pups were separated from their mothers in last week's tidal surge along the Norfolk coast, which swept many of the young seals out to sea before they could swim properly.
East Winch Wildlife Centre is currently caring for nearly 100 seals. Others have been transferred to other RSPCA wildlife centres in Cheshire and Somerset, since they were washed up on the coast.
The RSPCA launched a crisis appeal this week to meet the costs of the seal pups' five-month rehabilitation.
More than £25,000 has been raised already to meet the costs of feeding them, which costs £22 each week for every seal.
Alison Charles, East Winch Wildlife Centre manager, said: "We have been absolutely amazed at the generosity of the public, many of who seem to be really moved by the plight of these seal pups.
"The rehabilitation for these poor pups is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and there are significant costs involved to give them all the special care and attention they need.
"The amount of money already donated by members of the public is absolutely staggering, but we've even had lots of practical donations.
"One lady came all the way from Northampton with a new fridge, bowls and beakers, which we use for feeding the seals.
"Another gentleman arrived with some fresh herring and a £20 donation. We've even had a local care home carrying out a collection for us, and offering their help as a drop-off point for other donations.
"Incredible gestures of kindness like this, no matter how large or small, have been so encouraging for the team here who are absolutely working their socks off.
"I would like to say a huge thank you to every single person who has donated.''
To back the appeal, call 0300 123 8181 or visit www.rspca.org.uk/sealappeal.