A number of sick and injured seals which were orphaned in the recent floods on the east coast have been transferred to the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, Somerset.
Six seals have been taken to the centre in a bid to help ease the pressure on the East Winch Wildlife Centre which is currently at capacity after taking in dozens of orphaned seals. Another six seals were previously taken to Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire.
The Norfolk wildlife centre is now home to more than 100 seals, many of which are less than three weeks old.
Staff and volunteers have now begun the mammoth task of rehabilitating the orphaned grey seal pups with the aim of returning them to the wild.
West Hatch centre manager Peter Venn said: “In emergency crisis situations like the one East Winch is dealing with at the moment we all really need to pull together and help in any way we can.
“Compared to what they are dealing with the half a dozen sick pups may not seem much but together with the six seals sent to Stapeley this means there are 12 fewer seals for East Winch to manage. It is the tip of the iceberg – but everything helps.
“This is one of the biggest seal related disasters the RSPCA has ever seen. These poor little pups would not have had much chance of survival with the help from the charity. They are just too young to be able to cope without their mums.”
The flooding happened at one of the worst times for seals because it is at the height of the grey seal pupping season which means most of the seals should still be dependent on their mother’s milk.