RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre is appealing for towels and facecloths to assist in the daily care of seals, hedgehogs and ducklings.
To prevent the spread of disease, a fresh towel is needed every time a seal in the centre’s isolation unit is given medication or food and most seals require long-period rehabilitation, meaning one seal alone can get through some 50 towels during their stay.
This year, the centre has cared for 134 seals, 49 greys and 85 commons, which means 6,700 towels have already been used.
However, seals are not the only animal at the centre who require a drying, even hedgehogs and ducklings need a clean fresh face cloth everyday.
And having looked after 437 ducklings and 548 hedgehogs, the centre has also used 6,800 face cloths over the past 12 months.
East Winch centre manager, Alison Charles said: “I know the residents of Norfolk are probably wondering what on earth do we do with all these towels, given we have run appeals like this in the past, but the truth of the matter is we actually get through thousands and thousands of towels every year.
“Whenever possible we wash and reuse them, but we have to be so careful preventing the spread of disease, so sadly in most cases we can only use a towel once, so you can understand how the figures add up so quickly.
“For example we are currently caring for a grey seal called Mrs Frisbee, who was rescued last week by the Friends of Horsey Seals.
“She had been swimming around with the yellow frisbee on her neck for up to six months. She was brought to us and we have removed the embedded frisbee from her neck. However the likelihood is she will be in our care for at least five months, so she alone may require the use of more than 100 towels during her rehabilitation.
“While the towel might just seem like a common everyday item for many people, for us they are like gold dust and are really important for our day to day work at the centre.”
A number of collection points for towels and face cloths have been set up at Tesco stores in West Norfolk, including Hardwick Estate in Lynn, in Swaffham and Dereham. The towels can also be placed in a special yellow bin located at RSPCA East Winch.