RSPCA staff have been overwhelmed with donations to care for seal pups who suffered in last month’s tidal surge.
The RSPCA wildlife hospital at East Winch has been caring for more than 100 grey seals who were orphaned or injured after high tides smashed into the Norfolk coast on December 5.
The centre was facing a massive bill with feeding and medical costs but thanks to the generosity of people from across the county, £91,000 has been raised.
Centre manager Alison Charles said: “It is an incredible amount of money. I’m stunned and it is really nice that people appreciate the work we do and are willing to help us.
“We have had so many touching letters with the money. The response has been amazing.”
The hospital was crammed with 107 pups in the days after the tidal surge.
Many of the pups were found starving and dehydrated on beaches in Blakeney and Winterton but some have been brought in with wounds inflicted by adult seals and dogs wandering the beaches.
Staff were working almost around the clock to keep up with the feeding schedule but this has now eased as the pups have progressed from fish soup.
Many are now being hand-fed fish. The seals get through £22 worth of herring a week.
Some of the pups have been transferred to different wildlife centres to try to ease the pressure at East Winch, which still has 90 seals in the building.
The pups will be released on Norfolk beaches and some are progressing so well that they may be released in February.
Mrs Charles said: “Some are progressing really well.
“You go in there during December and there were these tiny little animals but now they are getting bigger and stronger. It is lovely to see them changing day by day. But this is what we do. It is hard work but very rewarding.”
Mrs Charles said a number of seals have come in with wounds caused by dogs and is appealing for owners to keep their animals under control.
Donations can be made by phoning 0300 1238181 or visiting www.rspca.org.uk/sealappeal. Supporters can also donate by texting SEAL to 78866.