Northampton

Four Polish stowaway kittens in 1,000-mile lorry trip

Kittens at RSPCA centre Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The RSPCA has named the kittens Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid, after Swedish pop group Abba

Four stowaway kittens travelled about 1,000 miles across Europe in the back of a lorry, before being discovered by a "very surprised" driver.

The "extra consignment" was discovered when the lorry rolled up at Dynamic Office Solutions' Northampton depot, after a three-day journey from Poland.

David Orr, from the company, said they were in an empty box, but no-one in Poland knew how they got into it.

The RSPCA has named them after the members of Swedish supergroup Abba.

Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid are thought to be about two weeks' old, the charity said.

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Mr Orr said the lorry began its journey at an office furniture factory in Zarow, in south-western Poland, and travelled through Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and across the English Channel, during which time the cargo was un-checked.

The kittens emerged into daylight on Wednesday, three days' later, when the box - which was supposed to be an empty "void-filler" - was opened and the "extra consignment" unloaded, Mr Orr said.

Image copyright Dynamic Office Solutions
Image caption The tiny kittens spent three days enclosed in the massive box in the back of the lorry

"We immediately got some bedding, ran out for kitten food and called the RSPCA.

"There were lots of 'oohs' and 'ahhs', and we'd love to keep them to keep vermin at bay, but they're too young and aren't streetwise enough yet," he added.

Mr Orr telephoned the Polish factory but they could not explain the kitten consignment.

"We joked that because they weren't bar-coded, we couldn't deal with them."

Dawn Smith, animal welfare manager at RSPCA Northamptonshire, said: "These kittens are lucky to be alive, having travelled so far with no food in the back of a cold lorry.

"Our biggest concern right now is ensuring they pull through as at only two weeks old they're very young to be away from their mum."

The well-travelled kittens are currently in foster care.

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