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

One of the two baby sea pups confirmed to be twins with its mother in the dunes at Horsey. December

One of the two baby sea pups confirmed to be twins with its mother in the dunes at Horsey. December 2015. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass © 2015

A DNA test in Norway has confirmed that two wild grey seals born at Horsey Gap are the first twins of their kind to be recorded in the world.

It was believed that the two grey seal pups - born in November - were twins after members of the Friends of Horsey Seals Group spotted the mother seal feeding the pair.

Hair samples from the seals and blood-soaked sand from the birth site were sent by express delivery to the Institute of Marine Research centre in Norway, just after Christmas.

The researchers today confirmed to the Friends of Horsey Seals that the pups were the first record of wild grey seal twins in the world.

Peter Ansell, chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seals, said: 'It is nice to have our suspicions confirmed.

'We were confident from the start they were twins as the mother seal was with the pups a long distance away from all the other seals and the mother was feeding them both which would have been very unusual if she was not both their mothers.'

The female and male pups were taken to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital in December at East Winch, near King's Lynn, where they were named R2-D2 and C-3PO.

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They were moved there after the mother stopped feeding them.

Mr Ansell said: 'One of my colleagues took a sample of the blood from the birthplace scene and we asked the team at East Winch if they could send some hair follicles.

'We then sent what we had to Norway and we had to wait a few weeks for them to carry out the DNA tests and get the results.'

The pair are still at East Winch, but at the age of nearly four months they will soon be ready to be released back into the wild.

Mr Ansell said: 'It is really up to the people at East Winch when they are released but I imagine it won't be too long.

'The seals were born at the top of the dunes and most likely have never seen the sea yet alone got into it, so they will have to be gently coaxed into the water on a day with good weather and sea conditions.'

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