Wardens have discovered rare black-colored seal pups among England’s largest grey seal colony. Grey seals are born white and lose their fur at around two to three weeks of age, revealing a grey coat.
According to the National Trust, roughly one in 400 melanistic seals have a velvety black coat.
During the winter pupping season, rangers at Blakeney Point in north Norfolk have observed ten melanistic pups. Melanism is characterized by an increase in the production of the dark pigment melanin.
The organization manages Blakeney Nature Reserve, which is anticipating a record-breaking baby boom of 4,000 grey seal pups this winter.
Rangers have modified the method they count the seals born at the breeding site due to an increase in the number of pups.
Rather than travelling across the region and counting arrivals, teams will keep track of the number of pups in a certain location to get a sense of what’s going on throughout the colony.