Thailand: Rare twin elephants born, called a ‘miracle’

Twins occur in only 1% of elephant births, and male-female pairs are very rare.
Thailand: Rare twin elephants born, called a ‘miracle’

An Asian elephant in central Thailand gave birth to a rare set of twins, which caretakers regard as a miracle.

The mother, 36-year-old Chamchuri, was not anticipated to have twins, so when she gave birth to a male calf last Friday, staff at the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal assumed the childbirth was complete.

However, while cleaning up the first calf and helping it stand, they heard a tremendous thud and learned Chamchuri had given birth to a second calf, a female.

Twins occur in only one percent of elephant births, and male-female pairs are very rare, according to a research organisation.

Elephants are revered in Thailand, where the bulk of the population is Buddhist. They are also a national symbol.

Park visitors, including youngsters, are permitted to see the twins, but only after sanitising their footwear and hands.

A sign beside the nursery reads, "Please don't touch the elephant babies".

They will be named seven days after birth, according to Thai custom.

At 55kg (121lb), the female calf is slightly smaller than average and must walk on a stool while nursing with her mother. Her brother is heavier, weighing 60kg.

Thailand: Rare twin elephants born, called a ‘miracle’

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