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What are the chances? Another set of rare seal twins spotted at Horsey

PUBLISHED: 19:16 14 November 2018 | UPDATED: 19:16 14 November 2018

One of the two baby seal pups believed to be twins with its mother in the dunes at Horsey.
December 2015.

Picture: James Bass

One of the two baby seal pups believed to be twins with its mother in the dunes at Horsey. December 2015. Picture: James Bass

James Bass © 2015

When the first ever recorded twin seal pups were born at Horsey three years ago it sent ripples of excitement across the globe.

World's first recorded wild-born twin grey seals released back into the North Sea at Horsey Gap.  

  Picture: James Bass



World's first recorded wild-born twin grey seals released back into the North Sea at Horsey Gap. Picture: James Bass

And now it looks as if the same has happened again - with possibly the same mother creating the world’s second ever recorded set of identical seal siblings.

Volunteer wardens patrolling the colony will be keeping an even closer eye than ever on the newborns in a bid to confirm the sighting reported by a member of the public.

Friends of Horsey Seals chairman Peter Ansell said he was aware of the report but had yet to see them for himself.

The difficulty this time he said was that the mother was down on the beach amid the blubbery herd making the family difficult to spot.

Worlds first recorded wild born twin grey seals released back into the North Sea at Horsey Gap.

Picture: James BassWorlds first recorded wild born twin grey seals released back into the North Sea at Horsey Gap. Picture: James Bass

In the case of the confirmed seal pups they were away from the beach and on full view in the dunes so access to them was easier.

MORE: Pups at Horsey are first grey seal twins recorded in the world

He said: “It seems genuine but we cannot say 100pc for sure because it is hearsay. Somebody saw a female feeding a newborn pup and while she was feeding it she had another one.

“It is highly likely that she is feeding twins.

“We had always been told that grey seals do not have twins but in the previous case we thought it was pretty obvious because she was on her own and there was afterbirth all about.

“This time the one that has been reported is on the beach with all the others so it would be difficult to spot.

“It is possibly the same mother, there is a good chance. But she is in a different place to where she was before, about half a mile up the beach.

“There is a couple of thousand seals out there and it is hard to tell.

“When the volunteers are doing the pup counting they will keep a look out, but unless you see both pups suckling at the same time you would not know one seal from another.”

MORE: First pictures of rare twin pups born at Horsey

His excitement however was eclipsed by concern for the twin pups, if it should turn out to be true, because the mother is programmed to feed only one pup.

The worry would be at the end of ten or 11 days she would run out of milk and stop feeding them when they were only half-weaned meaning they would surely starve unless they were lifted from the sands and fed in hospital, as happened with the original twins.

MORE: Seal twins released into the sea at Horsey

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