Shropshire wildlife rescue centre overwhelmed by huge influx of animals and in desperate need of donations
A wildlife rescue centre in Much Wenlock has admitted over 800 more animals than this time last year, and is struggling with the pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Fran Hill, manager at Cuan Wildlife Centre, said they are running dangerously low on much-needed necessities like food and bedding, after a huge influx in numbers in the past six weeks.
On Tuesday alone, the centre admitted nearly 90 animals, 60 of which were hedgehogs. Fran said they are so grateful for all the support people have given so far, but much more is needed if they are going to make it through the pandemic.
With fundraising stopped, and staff numbers reduced, the coronavirus pandemic has had a drastic effect on the centre, which rescues, cares for and rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned wild animals and birds.
"Just over the last six weeks, we have had a huge influx of animals even though the animals themselves are not any more unusual than what we normally have," Fran explained.
"The sheer numbers have increased lately. Last time I checked, which was just over a week ago, we were more than 800 animals up from the same day last year. We are incredibly busy.
"The strain really has been added not just because of the amount of animals but we have less people working because of Covid-19. It is very, very difficult because we have not been able to do our normal fundraising. Food and medicine costs money."
Since lockdown began and the centre's normal fundraising events stopped, members of the community have stepped forward and been fundraising for them. Fran said they were really grateful for everyone's hard work.
She said: "Without them I don't know if we would be here today. The sheer numbers would be difficult any time but during this pandemic it's so hard.
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"We have had many garden birds – blackbirds, sparrows, robins to name a few. And so many ducklings, we are talking hundreds. On Tuesday, they admitted just over 60 hedgehogs in just one day. Throughout the whole day they admitted nearly 90 animals.
"We have a great team here, from our volunteers and work experience students. We would be lost without them."
The centre is dangerously low on many items needed to take care of the animals including different variations of small bird seed, not just 'mixed' seed which is only good for pigeons, Fran said. They also need puppy or kitten biscuits for the hedgehogs and newspapers and surgical gloves.
A list of items is available on their website to buy from their Amazon wishlist or from other sites. Visit cuanwildliferescue.org.uk to donate items or money.