Hurt seals flood wildlife centre after tidal surge

Staff are working hard to cope with all the seal pups

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A wildlife centre is "struggling" to treat more than 100 seal pups injured and separated from their mothers in last week's tidal surge in Norfolk.

About 40 were brought in to the East Winch centre, near King's Lynn, on Friday, but the number rose sharply over the weekend, the charity said.

The RSPCA's Katya Mira said staff had been "working around the clock" to treat the pups.

"It couldn't have happened at a worse time," she said.

Ms Mira said the surge had happened right at the height of the "pupping season".

"Most of the seals are only a few weeks old and were separated from their mothers after they washed up along the Norfolk coast," she said.

"Staff and volunteers at the centre are working around the clock in extremely worrying conditions to try and save these injured pups.

"They are really struggling.

Grey seals

  • Grey seals are Britain's largest living carnivore
  • Britain has 36% of the world population of grey seals around its shores
  • Pups weigh 14kg (30.8lb) at birth but quickly gain the blubber they need because their mother's milk contains 60% fat

Source: BBC Nature

"The baby seals still have their fluffy white coats as they are only a few weeks old - too young to fend for themselves as they can't swim yet."

Many seals make their home along the undisturbed north Norfolk coastline.

It was feared that many hundreds could have died in the surge, but the National Trust and Friends of Horsey Seals said that initial assessments of the coastline showed things were "better than first thought".

The surge, which flooded the east coast of England on Thursday and Friday, was the largest for 60 years, the Met Office said.

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