An elephant in Kenya has given birth to a set of twins, a conservation group said on Friday, a rare event for the largest land mammal on Earth. The Elephant Rescue Organization said that the twins, both female, were born in the Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya to a mother named Alto, describing her as… “Double joy.”
Twins make up only about one percent of elephant births, although another pair – a male and a female – were born in the same reserve in early 2022.
A video posted by Save the Elephants on social media showed the baby elephant being fed by her mother, along with other members of the herd, with the caption: “Amazing possibilities!”
African elephants have the longest gestation period of any living mammal, carrying their young for approximately 22 months, and giving birth approximately every four years.
However, elephant twins are often not well. About two years ago, an elephant named Bora gave birth to twins in the Samburu National Park.
The Elephant Rescue Organization said in a statement, “Bora’s twins (a male and a female) were born during one of the worst periods of drought, but despite her excellent mothering skills, the female twin unfortunately died.” Share Facebook.
However, the conservation group says it remains optimistic about the Alto children’s prospects.
“Elephant twins rarely survive in the wild, but we are optimistic about Alto’s twins as there is plenty of food in the garden after the rains, so Alto should be able to produce plenty of milk to feed her hungry brood plus she also has amazing support from her herd,” The group wrote.
A previous pair of twins born in Samburu in 2006 failed to survive for more than a few days.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the African savannah elephant as critically endangered, and says poaching and habitat destruction have had a devastating impact on elephant numbers in Africa as a whole.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, there are more than 36,000 elephants in the East African country, with efforts to stop poaching halting the decline in numbers.
She added that the number of elephants in Kenya reached 170,000 in the 1970s and early 1980s, but it decreased to only 16,000 by the end of 1989 due to the demand for ivory.
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