In memory of one of the rare Elephant Twins, who died this week. Amboseli National Park
Twin elephants, a male and female, were delivered at the end of May 2018 by 39-year old "Paru," on the left, who lives in a herd of around 40 elephants. Kenyan Wildlife Service officials say surviving twin births amongst elephants is rare, with the last known birth of surviving elephant twins taking place in Amboseli in 1980. Given the sheer size of the animals, twin births are rare, as gestation of African elephants normally lasts for around 22-months.
In July 2018, I was fortunate enough to see the twins, and took this photo
On October 22, 2018, Amboseli Trust for Elephants wrote on their Facebook page:
We are very sorry to have to report that one of the twin elephants born to Paru in Amboseli died. The female calf was the smaller of the two and at an early stage had sustained an injury to her back which seemed to heal. The vet had looked at it and decided against treating it because there was no obvious distress and no infection. Darting a lactating female is very high risk to both the mother and her milk-dependent calves so for the sake of keeping Paru and her calves in good health the decision was made not to intervene. We kept a close eye on the twins and it seemed she got better on her own; we therefore cannot say for sure that this was the cause of death. She died a natural death, something that almost every elephant mother in the wild has endured at some point in her life. As sad as it is we are happy that the remaining calf is strong and healthy. Twins in elephants are very rare but few survive into adulthood. Paru and the remaining calf are with the family and we feel confident that they will be fine.