An elephant in the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya gave birth to twins, an event said to be extremely rare.
The tour guides spotted the newborn elephants while on safari in the Samburu reserve over the weekend. According to reports, the twins which consist of a male and a female is only the second set of twin calves ever seen by the local organisation Save the Elephants (STE).
‘Twins are rarely encountered in elephant populations — and form around only 1% of births. Quite often the mothers don’t have enough milk to support two calves’, STE founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton said in a statement.
The next couple of weeks will be crucial for Samburu’s new elephant twins though STE’s Founder and President, Dr Iain Douglas-Hamilton, remains “cautiously hopeful” of their survival. Read more: https://t.co/0vhSjrfmrx
? Jane Wynyard/Save the Elephants pic.twitter.com/J8mHp6GNHL
— Save the Elephants (@ste_kenya) January 21, 2022
As part of their daily routine, STE researchers will continue to monitor the twins’ health. The twins are the offspring of a female elephant named Bora, who comes from the Winds II elephant family. Her elder calf was born in 2017 and was recently seen with its mother and twins in the same place.
Save the Elephants reported seeing elephant twins for the first time in 2006. The African elephant has the longest gestation period of any living mammal, at around 22 months, and gives birth every four years. Poachers are increasingly targeting elephants in Kenya and other Sub-Saharan African nations.
However, Kenya’s tourist ministry said in 2020 that elephant numbers in the nation had more than quadrupled, from 16,000 in 1989 to 34,000 in 2018, because of increased anti-poaching measures.