It’s always great news when a new baby animal is born — so it’s twice as good news when it turns out to be twins.
This month, a pair of twin baby elephants were born at a reserve in Kenya, something incredibly rare for the species.
According to a press release from Save the Elephants, the twins were discovered on January 16 at Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya. The elephants, one male and one female, were about a day old.
Their mother is named Bora, one of the elephants monitored by the charity. The twins are her second birth: her older calf was born in 2017.
Twins are incredibly rare in elephants. The last time a pair of twins was born at the park was in 2006.
“Twins are rarely encountered in elephant populations – and form around only 1% of births,” Save the Elephant founder Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton explained in the press release.
But twins aren’t always a reason to celebrate: twin elephants often don’t survive. The pair of twins born at the park 16 years ago both died shortly after their births. It remains to be seen how well the newborns will fare this time.
“Quite often the mothers don’t have enough milk to support two calves,” Douglas-Hamilton explained. “The next few days will be touch and go for the new twins but we all have our fingers crossed for their survival.”
A few days have since passed, and in an update, the charity remained cautiously optimistic about their chances of survival, given their mother’s prior parenting experience.
“The survival of the twins depends very much on the quality of the grass and vegetation and the experience of the matriarch,” Douglas-Hamilton said. “This mother has had successful experience of raising a calf before and the fact that it has rained recently the grass is green in Samburu and gives the little twins a greater chance of survival.”
“We have to cross our fingers, but we are cautiously hopeful.”
These baby elephants are extraordinarily rare and incredibly adorable. We hope they will continue to defy the odds and thrive in their mother’s care.
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