An elephant has given birth to twin daughters in Kenya, a rare occurrence for the world’s largest land mammal, a conservation organization for this endangered species announced on Friday.
The two baby elephants were born in the Samburu National Reserve in the north of this East African country, to a female named Alto, said the Save the Elephants organization, welcoming this “double joy”.
Twin births account for only around 1% of elephant births, but the Samburu reserve has seen the birth of two more twin elephants – a male and a female – in early 2022.
In a video posted by Save the Elephants on its X (ex-Twitter) account, the two baby elephants can be seen suckling their mother, in the presence of the other individuals in the group.
Female elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals, carrying their young for almost 22 months and giving birth approximately every four years.
Elephant twins don’t always make it: twins born in Samburu in 2006 survived only a few days.
There are over 36,000 elephants in Kenya, according to figures from the first national census of all the country’s wildlife, to be carried out in 2021.
This figure represents a 12% increase on the population recorded in 2014, when poaching for ivory was higher.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warned in 2021 that poaching and habitat destruction, particularly due to land conversion for agriculture, were having a devastating effect on elephant numbers across Africa.
Source: Africa News