Rare elephant twins born in dramatic birth in Thailand

Published June 12, 2024
NEWBORN elephant twins stand in front of their mother Jamjuree at the Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal in Ayutthaya, Thailand.—AFP
NEWBORN elephant twins stand in front of their mother Jamjuree at the Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal in Ayutthaya, Thailand.—AFP

AYUTTHAYA: An elephant in Thailand has delivered a rare set of twins in a dramatic birth that left a carer injured after he tried to rescue one of the newborns.

The 36-year-old Asian elephant named Jamjuree gave birth to an 80-kilogramme (176-pound) male at the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal north of Bangkok on Friday night.

But when a second, 60-kilogramme female calf emerged 18 minutes later, the mother went into a frenzy and attacked her new arrival. “We heard somebody shout ‘there is another baby being born!’” said veterinarian Lardthongtare Meepan.

An elephant keeper, also known as a mahout, moved in to prevent the mother from attacking her newborn, and took a blow to his ankle in return.

“The mother attacked the baby because she had never had twins before — it’s very rare,” said Michelle Reedy, the director of the Elephant Stay organisation, which allows visiting tourists to ride, feed and bathe elephants at the Royal Kraal centre.

“The mahouts who are the carers of the elephants jumped in there trying to get the baby away so that she didn’t kill it,” Reedy said. Jamjuree has now accepted her calves, who are so small that a special platform has been built to help them reach up to suckle.

They are also being given supplemental pumped milk by syringe, said Lardthongtare.

Twin elephants are rare, forming around only one percent of births, according to research organisation Save the Elephants, and male-female twin births are even more unusual. Mothers often do not have enough milk for both calves and the pair might not have survived in the wild, said Reedy.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Bad measures
Updated 25 Jul, 2024

Bad measures

They do not seem to have realised that they have put the country’s best interests at risk.
Hamas-Fatah deal
25 Jul, 2024

Hamas-Fatah deal

THE Beijing Declaration signed in the Chinese capital on Tuesday reiterates the need for internal Palestinian unity...
Rating risks
25 Jul, 2024

Rating risks

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s recent discussions with the executives of the two top global credit rating...
Reforming militants
24 Jul, 2024

Reforming militants

Such initiatives have been tried before, in Swat for instance, at centres run by the military as well as NGOs.
IPP debate
24 Jul, 2024

IPP debate

A FIERCE debate blaming the exorbitant electricity prices on expensive power purchase agreements with IPPs has been...
Political vendettas
24 Jul, 2024

Political vendettas

IT seems that the PML-N and PPP need to be reminded again that they are doing themselves a considerable disservice ...