- A Samburu National Reserve elephant named Alto has given birth to a pair of twin calves, a rare occurrence in the elephant community
- It is a development worth celebrating as twin elephants account for only about 1% of all elephant births
- In 2022, another elephant at the same reserve named Bora defied the odds and gave birth to twins; a male and a female
In a remarkable occurrence, an elephant at the Samburu National Reserve named Alto welcomed a pair of twin calves.
According to the conservation group Save the Elephants, this is rare for the world's largest land mammals.
Calves are both females
The twin elephants, both females, were born at the national reserve in northern Kenya, bringing what the organization dubbed "double joy" to wildlife enthusiasts.
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Save the Elephants shared a heartwarming video on social media capturing the twin elephants huddling around their mother.
"Alto from the Clouds has astonished us with her own set of twins! Her two adorable female calves, estimated to be just days old, were first spotted by our researchers," read the caption.
Elephant twins rarely survive in the wild, but hopes are high that Alto’s twins will live to adulthood as there’s lots of food in the park following the rains.
Hopes high twins will survive
According to Save the Elephants founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the calves often die because the mothers lack enough milk to support both.
Alto should be able to produce plenty of milk to feed her hungry brood, and she also has her herd's amazing support.
Wildlife enthusiasts and researchers have since been watching the calves to observe how they navigate life challenges in the wild.
"With both the Winds and the Clouds families having produced twins, anticipation now turns to the Storms (no pressure!) to see if they can complete the trifecta," Save the Elephants wrote.
Bora welcomed twins in 2022
Statistics indicate that twin elephants account for only about 1% of all elephant births.
However, Samburu National Reserve seems to be defying the odds, as a similar incident occurred in 2022 when another elephant welcomed twin calves; one male and one female.
The twins were born to a mother named Bora during one of the worst droughts, but the female twin died in childhood.
An earlier set of twins born in Samburu in 2006 did not survive beyond a few days.
Boost to elephant population
African elephants boast the lengthiest gestation period among living mammals, enduring a remarkable 22 months of pregnancy.
Elephants in Kenya and other sub-Saharan African countries have increasingly fallen prey to poachers.
The delivery of twins goes a long way in contributing to the region's conservation efforts and serves as a testament to the resilience of the majestic creatures.
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