Double the Joy: The Incredible Arrival of Twin Elephants at Rosamond Gifford Zoo New York

Recently, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY welcomed two adorable additions to its family – Asian elephant twins. Proud parents Mali and Doc gave birth to the unexpected twins on October 24. The zoo staff was surprised as less than 1% of elephant births result in twins, and the survival rate for twin elephants is very low. The first calf, weighing 220 pounds, made its debut around 2 a.m. Mali surprised everyone by delivering a second male calf, weighing 237 pounds, 10 hours later. However, the second newborn was noticeably weaker than its sibling. This news was shared in a press release from the zoo.

The animal care and veterinary staff at the zoo acted quickly to improve the weaker calf’s condition, as stated in the press release. Despite being unprepared for the rare occurrence of elephant twins, they had a specialized milk replacer readily available to supplement the second calf’s diet. The release emphasized that the birth of elephant twins in the United States is historic and unprecedented, marking a proud moment for the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. County Executive Ryan J. McMahon expressed his pride in the exceptional animal care team and the dedicated support of the veterinary staff in ensuring the well-being of Mali and the twins.

The staff at Rosamond Gifford Zoo were surprised when Mali, the mother elephant, gave birth to a second calf just 10 hours after the first. These newborns are a pair of Asian elephants, which are considered an endangered species found in Southeast and South Asia, according to information from the World Wildlife Fund. The declining population of these animals is mainly caused by several factors such as habitat fragmentation, conflict with humans, and poaching.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, as the twins reach adulthood, they are expected to weigh around 11,000 pounds and stand between 6 to 11 feet tall. The zoo intends to do more than just preserve the endangered species; they hope that the birth of these twins will help fight against a deadly elephant disease. Mali and Doc’s previous offspring died of elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus, a strain of herpes that is the leading cause of death among young elephants. This information has been detailed in a press release.

The zoo has sent Mali’s placental tissue to Baylor University for research purposes in hopes of creating a vaccine and treatment for the disease. Ongoing monitoring and testing will be carried out on the twins. The arrival of the twins has increased the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s elephant population to eight. Visitors are welcome to witness the newborns and the rest of the herd at the Helga Beck Asian Elephant Preserve.

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