Rare Occurrence as Giraffe Gives Birth to Twins in Nairobi


Mumbai Mutuko, Kenyans

Date Published

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An extremely rare occurrence took place at the Nairobi National Park after a giraffe gave birth to twins.

The Maasai giraffe gave birth to a set of twins in what the park workers termed as a rare spectacle in the history of the national park.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, joined the workers and Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) in celebrating the birth and making the announcement on Tuesday, July 19.

“One of the Maasai giraffes in Nairobi National Park has given birth to a set of twins. This is an extremely rare occurrence. We welcome the newborns with love,” Balala stated.

The twinning rate in giraffes is one in every 280,000, and to explain this phenomenon, experts say there are a whole lot more human twins in the world than there are giraffes in zoos globally.

So rare are twin births for giraffes that experts report that out of 8,600 normal births worldwide, there are less than 40 twin births.

In January, KWS announced a rare twin birth of elephant calves. The Kenyan elephant made history at a conservancy in Samburu after giving birth to twins.

The birth of the twins was celebrated by the Tourism Cabinet Secretary and zoologists who acknowledged that this was a first in more than a decade.

Save the Elephants, a conservation NGO, noted that the occurrence is a rare one since such births make up only one per cent of all elephant deliveries.

Zoologists further explained that twin births are not a norm among elephants since the mother does not have enough milk to cater for the calves.

International publication Newsweek spoke to Save the Elephants founder, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, who explained that such births can be stressful to the teams that take care of the big mammals.

“Elephant twins are very rare. In fact, they rarely live as twins as usually one or more die. It’s a big stress on the mother to have two calves to feed.

“I have seen twins several times over my career and it’s always big news for us. We have had twins a couple of times before, but the outcome was saddening. However, they can survive. It is always quite a stir when they are born,” Hamilton noted.

He added that the newborns were in good health at the moment and further revealed that they were smaller compared to other elephant calves.