Two seal pups, which were born last November, were believed to be the first wild grey seal twins born in the UK, but were also found to be the first recorded in the world.
The pups were abandoned by their mother after being born at Horsey Gap in Norfolk, a great spot for seeing seals and other wildlife when staying at your Norfolk holiday homes
The seals were tested, along with the blood-soaked sand from the birth site, revealing they have the same mother. Anne Kirstine Frie, of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway said: “It is so rare. It is very exciting.”
The male and female are being cared for at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital at East Winch near King’s Lynn where they have been named R2-D2 and C-3PO in honour of the Star Wars characters.
Experts had hoped they were twins and were unaware of any grey seal twins recorded in the UK. The Institute of Marine Research, which carried out the tests, confirmed they were the first recorded wild grey seal twins in the world.
Ms Frie also said of the occurrence: “It must happen in the wild from time to time, but we have never had knowledge of wild grey seal twins. In the wild they very rarely survive, the both of them, but these are both in good health.”
Last year, around 60,000 people visited the coastline at Horsey Gap, where 800 seal pups were born.
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Photo by: Kev Chapman