Rescued dehydrated baby owl safe at Norfolk RSPCA centre

The RSPCA rescued an underweight babyowl and is now caring for the fledgling at its wildlife centre in Norfolk.

A member of the public spotted the underweight tawny owl in Suffolk town Mildenhall when they were walking their dog on 1 April. The owl was dehydrated and had a low body temperature.

Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Naemi Kilbey rescued the owlet and took the bird to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre.

The charity asks members of the public concerned about a baby bird to leave them alone and monitor from a distance, as the parents are usually nearby and will still be feeding the bird.

In particular with tawny owlets, they can climb up and down trees if they are well. Therefore, these little birds are able to get themselves back into their nest if left at the bottom of a tree.

However, animal rescuer Naemi agreed that, in this instance, the owlet was cold and dehydrated.

The bird is now at the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, where staff are caring for him and keeping him in a quiet area so that there is less chance of him imprinting on humans. Imprinting is when a young animal comes to recognise an animal, person, or thing as a parent or object of habitual trust.

Although RSPCA centres have closed to the public as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, staff at the charity's four wildlife centres are still caring for almost 700 animals. 107 of these are at RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk. Since the crisis deepened at the beginning of March, the group's animal cruelty line has received nearly 60,000 calls.

RSPCA has appealed for donations to help it continue its work in a time that's proving difficult for charities. The cancellations of fundraising events and closure of high street charity shops due to the pandemic have been hitting finances hard. For instance, palliative care and bereavement organisation Sue Ryder, which has hospices across the East of England, has warned it's on the brink of closure.

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