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Arrival of male twins cheers Sri Lanka’s elephant orphanage

Elephant Surangi delivered healthy male twins in Sri Lanka's Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (Pictures Courtesy Twitter/@Twitter Naveeth14)

A rare event was recorded on August 31 (Tuesday) in neighbouring nation Sri Lanka's main elephant orphanage. It was the delivery of healthy male elephant twins by a 25-year-old pachyderm, named Surangi.

The calves were born in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (PEO).

These are first elephant twins to be born since 1941 in Sri Lanka in captivity according to Jayantha Jayewardene, an expert in elephants.

Talking to the news agency AFP, Renuka Bandaranaike, Head of PEO said: “Both the calves and the mother are doing fine. The babies are relatively small, but they are healthy."

She told the media that earlier Surangi had given birth to a male calf in 2009 and this was the second time she had delivered babies. The father is Pandu, a 17-year-old male, who happens to be one of the residents of the orphanage.

PEO was established in 1975 with the aim to take care of destitute wild elephants. Over a period of time, the place became a tourist attraction. At present it is closed because of the ongoing Covid-19 second wave.

Interestingly, last year the Sri Lankan officials had announced the birth of the first known twins in the wild in the country, as they had spotted the twins at the Minneriya sanctuary in the east of the island.

Also read: Now Elephants in Sri Lanka will have biometric ID cards!

Recently, the Sri Lankan Government has unveiled tough laws to protect the captive animals, who are considered as sacred in this Buddhist nation.

According to the new rules, in case an animal is not taken care of according to the laws, it could be taken into State care with the offender facing a prison sentence for three years.

In Sri Lanka capturing wild elephants is a criminal offence punishable by death, but prosecutions are rare.