Kenyan Elephant Makes History With Rare Birth

  • Kenyan elephant Bora gave birth to twin elephant calves in Samburu. Photos shared on January 18, 2022.
    Kenyan elephant Bora gave birth to twin elephant calves in Samburu. Photos shared on January 18, 2022.
    Courtesy Save the Elephant, Jane Wynyard and Bernard Lesirin
  • A Kenyan elephant has made history at a conservancy in Samburu after giving birth to twin calves.

    The birth of the twins was celebrated by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and zoologists who acknowledged that this is a first in more than a decade.

    Save the Elephants, a conservation NGO, noted that the occurrence is a rare one since such births make up only one per cent of all elephant deliveries. 

    Kenyan elephant Bora gave birth to twin elephant calves in Samburu. Photos shared on January 18, 2022.
    Kenyan elephant Bora gave birth to twin elephant calves in Samburu. Photos shared on January 18, 2022.
    Courtesy Save the Elephant, Jane Wynyard and Bernard Lesirin

    Zoologists further explained that twin births are not the norm among elephants since the mother does not have enough milk to cater for the calves.

    International publication Newsweek spoke to Save the Elephants founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton, who explained that such births can be stressful to the teams that take care of the big mammals

    "Elephant twins are very rare. In fact, they rarely live as twins as usually one or more die. It's a big stress on the mother to have two calves to feed.

    "I have seen twins several times over my career and it's always big news for us ... We have had twins a couple of times before, but the outcome was saddening. However, they can survive. It is always quite a stir when they are born.

    Hamilton stated that the newborns are in good health at the moment and further revealed that they were smaller compared to other elephant calves.

    He also noted that the recent rainfall had boosted the quality of pasture which the calves will depend on for survival.

    "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," he stated.

    According to AZ animals, the average elephant calf weighs 90kgs at birth and they are born after a long gestation,  which ranges from 18 to 22 months.

    The calves are 3 feet tall when they are born and will grow to be 6-13 feet tall depending on the type of elephant they are. 

    Kenyan elephant Bora gave birth to twin elephant calves in Samburu. Photos shared on January 18, 2022.
    Kenyan elephant Bora gave birth to twin elephant calves in Samburu. Photos shared on January 18, 2022.
    Courtesy Save the Elephant, Jane Wynyard and Bernard Lesirin