1. ITV Report

RSPCA inundated with baby seals after Norfolk battered by storms

A wildlife centre has been overwhelmed by the number of seal pups dropped off after the Norfolk storms. Photo: Daybreak/ITV

The RSPCA has been hit with a wave of seal pups who desperately needed care after they washed ashore in the storms over Norfolk in early December.

The East Winch Wildlife Centre has been caring for the influx of the sea mammals, as 120 seals have been housed at the facility over the last eight weeks.

New pups were dropped at the facility as recently as Saturday.

Baby seals can be spotted by their grey coat which turns white in adulthood. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

Most of pups arrived at the centre dehydrated because they had no access to milk after they were orphaned.

Some will approach other seal mothers on the beach to try and feed but those females will attack pups that aren't their own young.

The first few weeks of pups life are crucial if they are going to survive into adulthood.

At least 29 baby seals have died at centre since the influx began, as they were too weak to survive.

Daybreak's Nick Dixon visited the East Winch Wildlife Centre to see how the baby seals were doing.

He spoke to the centre manager Alison Charles who said looking after the pups was "a long drawn out process" which starts off with a "feeding with stomach tubes" every three hours before they can be hand fed.

Grey seals are born with a white coat they they keep for their first three weeks, which is warm, but not very water resistant.

If their mother lives, they feed off her during the day and pack on weight.

Baby seals have to be hand-fed for the first weeks of their life. Credit: PA

When they begin to lose their white coat their mothers leave them to fend for themselves.

However, washing ashore during the worst storms Norfolk has seen for 60 years make surviving into adulthood tough.