STAFF at Secret World Wildlife Rescue have been verbally abused by members of the public while responding to calls for help.

During the Covid-19 pandemic a 'skeleton' team of wildlife carers and staff at Secret World have been working around the clock to rescue and care for injured wildlife.

But in a statement posted on their Facebook page on Thursday (May 21) a spokesperson for Secret World Wildlife Rescue said some members of the public have 'shouted' at the centre's reception staff who are working under 'immense pressure' to help with animal admissions.

The centre said any abuse towards their staff will not be tolerated and urged people to be kind to their staff.

"Unfortunately, our reception staff have experienced a few frustrated members of the public who are behaving in a rude or aggressive manner towards them while on the ‘phone," the spokesperson said.

"We understand that we are not alone in this and some other animal rescues and veterinary practices have mentioned receiving the same kind of abuse during this time.

"Our staff are doing all they can to help wildlife but we have very limited resources available and advice may be for the caller to take the animal to a closer centre or vets which can help it.

"With few staff and volunteers on site we cannot take in the numbers of wildlife as normal because we would be unable to provide the level of welfare required for each individual animal.

"Currently we have very restricted reception cover to deal with animal admissions as well as providing advice by ‘phone. "We are working hard under immense pressure to be friendly and helpful to any caller.

"However, this is becoming increasingly difficult when callers shout and are abusive towards our staff.

"We would like to remind all callers of the difficult situation we are in and any rude, aggressive or abusive callers will not be tolerated.

"Please treat our staff with the respect and kindness they deserve and which we give our callers in return."