When the Tucker family in Bastrop County, Texas, checked on a pregnant mare on their ranch, they made a surprise discovery: their mare Sophie had birthed not one but two blond foals — and that's very unusual.

Only around 1 in 10,000 horse births are twins, and the anomaly usually isn't a happy event. Mares simply aren't typically able to support two foals. It's dangerous for the mare to carry and birth twins, and it's dangerous for the twins, too.

"While animals of many species routinely give birth to multiple healthy offspring from one pregnancy, horses are not designed to nourish two fetuses and produce viable twin foals," explains Equine News. "Double pregnancies put the mare and both foals at risk, and good outcomes are rare."

The tough reality

Sophie the quarter horse mare with her twin foals, Bonnie and Clyde. Sophie the quarter horse with her twin foals, Bonnie and Clyde. (Photo: Jenny Tucker)

Bonnie, the filly, and Clyde, the colt, have had a tough start to life. Bonnie needed some veterinary help, including fluids and feeding tubes, but has steadily gained strength. Clyde has had more of a struggle, including a slow start to nursing and fighting a belly button infection.

Clyde was given a 50/50 chance of survival in his first days but seems to be doing better all the time, thanks to the TLC he and his sister are receiving from vets.

Bonnie and Clyde are under the care of a great team of veterinarians. Bonnie and Clyde are under the care of a great team of veterinarians. (Photo: Jenny Tucker)

"Bonnie a [sic] doing great, off of fluids and antibiotics, running around feeling great. Clyde is doing so much better." Tucker posted on Facebook this week. "They're showing way more interest in feed than nursing out of the bucket, so that may be our best option at this point."

The foals will need to stay with a veterinary team until June, which means racking up a substantial vet bill. If you'd like to help the family afford the medical expenses of caring for Bonnie and Clyde as they get on their feet, a Go Fund Me has been started by a supporter.

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.