U.K. Rescue Center Overrun With Orphaned (And Adorable) Seal Pups

NPR | Dec. 10, 2013 9:29 a.m.

Contributed By:

Eyder Peralta

Men take pictures as they try to move a seal pup away from a house, which has fallen into the sea, during a storm surge in Hemsby, eastern England, December 6, 2013.

Men take pictures as they try to move a seal pup away from a house, which has fallen into the sea, during a storm surge in Hemsby, eastern England, December 6, 2013.

Darren Staples, Reuters /Landov

We guarantee this is the saddest and cutest story you’ll hear about all day: About 263 seal pups were swept away from their mothers by a massive tidal surge near Norfolk in the U.K. recently.

Now, a wildlife center is struggling to cope with about 100 of them, who will need to be bottle fed and rehabilitated.

The BBC went to the center and talked to Alison Charles, a manager at the East Winch Wildlife Centre. She said the pups need to be feed often and it will take four to five months before they can be let back out to the wild.

The video shows the pups crying out for their mom.

“They’re young pups,” Charles says. “They’re missing their moms. They’re hungry. They’re waiting for their feed. We’re just warming it up.”

Charles told The Independent that if the pups had been left in the wild, they would have starved to death. The paper adds:

“At one breeding ground in Horsey, volunteers counted 440 pups on the beach before the surge and only 177 after it hit.

“But National Trust rangers at Blakeney Point, one of the largest colonies with about 1,000 seals and pups, said they had accounted for the vast majority of the seals.

“‘It would appear that the majority of seals and pups were able to reach higher ground on the sand dunes and escape the worst of the surge,’ a spokesman said.”

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