Elephant gives birth to twins in Kenya in extremely rare occurrence

Posted on 21 January 2022 By David Henning

An elephant in Kenya’s Samburu National Park has given birth to twin calves for the first time in a decade, a rare event that only makes up 1% of elephant births.

According to Newsweek, this event is incredibly unusual because the mother tends to not have enough milk to cater for two calves.

This birth came as a welcomed surprise for the research and protection organisation, Save the Elephants, which monitors the elephants in the national park.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the founder of Save the Elephants, spoke to Newsweek: ‘I have seen twins several times over my career and it’s always a big event for us … when we have had twins a couple of times before it wasn’t a happy outcome. However, they can survive. It always causes quite a stir when they are born.’

African elephants have a long gestation period of 22 months, with females giving birth roughly every four years.

Iain further commented that the twins are looking healthy at the moment because of the large amount of rainfall recently. ‘The survival of the twins depends very much on the quality of the grass and vegetation and the experience of the matriarch,’ he 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.’

The calves have been identified by guides in the park as male and female and will continue to monitor the health and progress of the calves as part of their daily activities.

Samburu National Reserve is situated at the southeastern corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley region of Kenya with a population of at least 900 elephants.


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