Twin elephant calves are highly rare. Furthermore, only an estimated 1% of all births in the species account for twin calves, which is why the birth of two twin elephants in Kenya has made headlines in recent weeks.
Therefore, the last event in which two elephant calves were born from the same pregnancy happened 15 years ago. Unfortunately, these two animals could not survive long after birth.
The new twins, however, appear healthy and the team of experts at the Samburu Reserve, where the animals were born, should follow them for the next few months. Check out images of female Bora with her twin elephant calves below:
The gestation of elephants is one of the longest in the animal world, with 22 months. A female can, in this sense, give birth to a calf every 4 years on average. In the case of twins, however, the milk supply of the female may not be enough for both, which may explain the rarity of the animals.
Along with the female Bora, the cubs' father has also been accompanying and protecting them, according to philanthropic entity Save the Elephants, which has been accompanying the twins.
Threats to the little twin elephants
In addition to the natural threat of lack of nutrition or predators, African elephants face poaching for ivory. In some African regions, in this regard, the number of wild elephants has fallen to less than 10 percent of its original value. Recent research even shows that elephants are being born without tusks due to ivory poaching.
So the little twin elephants still have this one more challenge before they reach adulthood, even though they live inside a reserve.
Image: Jane Wynyard via AFP
In 2020, however, the first census of the number of elephants in Kenya showed that the numbers of the populations of these animals have been growing. In 1989, there were approximately 16,000 elephants living in the wild in the country. Already in 2018, the populations have reached the number of 34,000 individuals.
According to Kenya's tourism ministry, the improvement was due to increased policies to combat poaching, and also improved habitat conservation and animal care.