1. ITV Report

Norfolk wildlife centre sees surge of poorly baby owls

One of the thirty poorly owlets to be handed in to the East Winch wildlife centre Credit: RSPCA

A Norfolk wildlife centre has been over-run with baby owls that have been injured or abandoned.

So far this year staff at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife centre near King's Lynn have cared for 32 Owlets.

The increase in numbers happens every summer with birds being handed in because they've either been orphaned or injured.

The centre is currently looking after 643 mammals and birds.

A trio of Tawny Owls Credit: RSPCA

"We’re looking after thirty-two young owls at the moment. The youngsters have been admitted for a variety of reasons including being caught in netting, being emaciated and riddled with flies and maggots. We need to help them recover from their injuries or weakness and then build them up in preparation for return to the wild.”

– Alison Charles, Manager, East Winch wildlife centre
Another owl being cared for at the centre Credit: RSPCA

As well as the young owls, the centre is currently looking after:

  • 170 ducklings
  • 41 gulls
  • 56 hedgehogs
  • 35 swans
  • 200 fledgling birds

When the owlets arrive, staff begin to feed them, gradually reducing their contact with the birds so they don't become connected. This allows them to cope when they are released back into the wild.

If you see an animal you have concerns about after observing it for some time, call the RSPCA's emergency line on 0300 1234999.