Pongola elephant gives birth to extremely rare twins

2014-12-05 00:00

CURVE, a 31-year-old elephant in the ­Pongola Nature Reserve in Northern KZN, is the proud mother of twins.

Twins are extremely rare, as elephants usually miscarry if they conceive two ­foetuses, elephant expert Dr Rob Slotow said yesterday.

Reserve marketing manager Donoven Gloy said there have only been five recorded cases of African elephants giving birth to twins.

He added that the birth, two weeks ago, was even more remarkable because the ­father, Ingani (44), had been receiving ­hormone treatment to lower his sperm count and libido. All the other bulls in the reserve have been sterilised.

Dr Ian Whyte, former manager of large herbivores at the Kruger National Park, said it is unlikely that both calves will reach adulthood, because they will compete for the mother’s milk.

He said a Kruger elephant called Ma­Merle had two pairs of twins, in 2002 and in 2006. The pair born in 2002 were not seen after they reached about a year old.

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