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Sanctuary overwhelmed with towels for owls, but needs Christmas trees for meerkats

PUBLISHED: 12:47 31 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:51 31 December 2018

Offers of help flooded in after Suffolk Owl Sanctuary appealed for towels to keep injured owls comfortable. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

Offers of help flooded in after Suffolk Owl Sanctuary appealed for towels to keep injured owls comfortable. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

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Suffolk Owl Sanctuary has been overwhelmed by offers of towels for injured owls - but is now appealing for used Christmas trees for meerkats to play with.

Meerkats at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary playing with Christmas trees. More trees are needed for them to enjoy. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARYMeerkats at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary playing with Christmas trees. More trees are needed for them to enjoy. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

The sanctuary, based at Stonham Barns, in Stonham Aspal, near Stowmarket, opened a new bird hospital with greater capacity during 2018, where injured owls and birds of prey can be brought and cared for.

Over the Christmas period, the sanctuary appealed via Facebook for more towels for its feathered patients, to help keep them warm, clean and comfortable while receiving treatment.

Staff were amazed by the response, and now have plenty of towels. A launderette in London offered to donate towels on a regular basis, and many members of the public also sent them in.

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary has been overwhelmed by the response after appealing for towels for its owls. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARYSuffolk Owl Sanctuary has been overwhelmed by the response after appealing for towels for its owls. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

Manager Maz Robinson said: “We have also had offers of support from America and the Netherlands, so our appeal went worldwide, which was amazing.”

She said there were currently seven owls being cared for in the bird hospital on the site, but birds were being brought in all the time. She added: “If we get a cold snap we will be even busier.”

Towels are vital in winter because injured birds of prey often come in freezing cold and soaking wet, after being found on the ground. Towels help the team to handle the owls safely.

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is appealing for old Christmas trees for its meerkats, red squirrels and ferrets. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARYSuffolk Owl Sanctuary is appealing for old Christmas trees for its meerkats, red squirrels and ferrets. Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

The sanctuary is now overflowing with towels, and will even be able pass some on to local vets, who also constantly need them to handle animals and birds safely.

However, Maz said: “We also need old Christmas trees for our Meerkats, red squirrels and ferrets.”

She said they need real trees which have not been decorated with spray snow and similar products for the animals to climb on, and added that they really enjoy playing with the branches, which provides valuable stimulation. “If you have a tree, instead of recycling it, you could give it to us.”

Maz paid tribute to the local community for their support of the sanctuary.

Anyone who has an tree to donate can either call Suffolk Owl Sanctuary on 03456 807897 or pop in during opening times, which are normally 10am - 4pm. However, the sanctuary is closed from midday on New Year’s Eve, closed on New Year’s Day and closing at 3pm on January 2. Alternatively, you can leave your tree at the side of the building for staff to collect.

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