After an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka announced the birth of a pair of twin elephants, environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts throughout the world rejoiced. The birth of the two calves – who are in perfect health – was an extraordinarily rare occurrence, as they are the country’s first twin birth in nearly 80 years.
The adorable baby elephants – both males – were born at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Both of their parents, the 25-year-old mother, named Sarangi, and the 17-year-old father, named Pandu, are residents of the orphanage.
Although it is extremely rare for an elephant female to give birth to twins(the chances are less than 1%) both the mother and her babies are in perfect condition. However, the two calves are smaller than usual.
“Both the babies and the mother are well,” orphanage director Renuka Bandaranaike told the BBC. “The infants are little, but they are healthy,” says the mother.
The Pinnawal orphanage, located in the country’s central mountainous region, is home to 83 elephants, including newborn calves. The orphanage, which opened in 1975, has saved and rehabilitated scores of elephants. Around 7,500 elephants are estimated to live in Sri Lanka today. Nonetheless, the last time elephant twins were born was in 1941, according to the BBC.
Surangi is at her second pregnancy, after she gave birth to her first calf, also a male, in 2009. An elephant female can have around four birds during her life.
Watch the two adorable twins in the video below!