Elephant gives birth to twins for the first time in nearly 80 years
Sri Lanka's main elephant orphanage recorded the birth of a rare twin elephants.
Experts believe this the first time in nearly 80 years.
Surangi, 25, at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka, gave birth to two healthy twins, according to officials of the institution.
It is the first time in Sri Lanka that twin elephants have been born in captivity since 1941, according to expert Jayantha Jaywardene. "The baby elephants and the mother are doing well," said Rinuka Bandaranaike, director of the Pinnawala Orphanage, the largest such institution in Sri Lanka that houses 81 elephants.
She explained that "the two males are relatively small in size, but they are in good health."
Surangi had previously given birth to a son in 2009.
Father Pando, 17, also an orphanage lives in the institution that was established in 1975 to take care of wild elephants.
The site, which usually attracts a large number of tourists, was closed under the measures adopted to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In 2020, wildlife officials revealed that the first birth of twin elephants in the wild in Sri Lanka took place in Mineria National Park in the east of the island.
At the end of August, the government announced a series of strict measures to protect these animals, which are especially sacred in the Buddhist-majority country.
Many wealthy Sri Lankans and Buddhist monks also keep elephants as domesticated animals, but the abuse of these animals is widespread. The new law stipulates imprisonment for up to three years for violators.
Sri Lanka has about 200 elephants in captivity and 7,500 in the wild. Capturing these animals is a crime that may lead to execution, but prosecutions are few in the country.
Animal advocates note that about 40 baby elephants have been stolen from national parks for domestication over the past 15 years.