ABOUT RARE ELEPHANT TWINS IN KENYA
An African elephant by the name Bora from the winds Family in Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve gave birth to twins on January 20, 2022, an event said to be extremely rare. They were first spotted by lucky tour guides on a safari drive on a weekend in Samburu reserve in northern Kenya. They were confirmed to be one male and one female. African elephants have the longest gestation period of any mammal, about 22 months, and give birth approximately every four years. In the elephant world, twin births are very rare. The survival of the twins depends very much on the quality of the grass and vegetation as well as the mother’s experience.
Another occurrence such as this one also happened in Amboseli national park in the year 2020. What was interesting about the twins at the Amboseli National Park was that they were able to observe that the twins had an older sister. The three elephants traveled together near their mother. If the mother stepped away it seemed the older sister baby sat. Elephant calves are huge! At birth, elephants can weigh 120kgs.
As well as being the largest land mammal on earth, elephants are a keystone species and play an important role in the environment where they live. They’re ‘landscape architects’ – for instance as they move around and feed, they create clearings in wooded areas, which lets new plants grow and forests regenerate naturally. However, having roamed the wild for 15 million years, today, this iconic species faces the biggest threats to its survival due to ivory poaching, human-wildlife conflict and habitat destruction.
FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS
- Elephants walk at the pace of their slowest member. The infants are always surrounded by nurturing members of the herd and their young babies are protected from the elements like the wind, rain and the sun.
- Elephants have incredible memory. Matriarchs will remember the trails and watering holes and how to navigate the seasons. All this knowledge is handed down by their ancestors for generations and it is so vital for their survival.
- Elephant’s ears act as big fans, cooling the blood that runs close to the surface behind their ears.
- Elephants are smart, emotional, self-aware and highly social creatures
- Elephants use their trunks to suck up water to drink – it can contain up to 8 liters of water. They also use their trunks as a snorkel when swimming.
- An elephant’s skin is 2.5cm thick in most places. The folds and wrinkles in their skin can retain up to 10 times more water than flat skin does, which helps to cool them down. They take regular mud baths in order to protect themselves from sunburn, insect bites and moisture loss.
- Amazingly, elephant calves are able to stand within 20 minutes after they are born and can walk within 1 hour. After two days, they can keep up with the herd. This incredible survival technique means that herds of elephants can keep migrating to find food and water to thrive.
- African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth.
- Elephants are matriarchal, meaning they live in female-led groups. The matriarch is usually the biggest and oldest.
- Elephant family members show signs of grief and may revisit the bones of the deceased for years, touching them with their trunks.
- African elephants can eat up to 300 pounds of food a day.
- Elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals. Having a baby elephant is no small commitment either.