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    Watch rare birth of twin elephant calves in Thailand as baby girl surprises everyone

    By Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY,


    A 36-year-old elephant gave birth to twins at a zoo in central Thailand in a rare surprise for caretakers and the mother herself.

    Caretakers only planned on Chamchuri giving birth to one calf on June 7 at the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal, about 50 miles north of Bangkok, according to BBC . As the team cleaned the boy calf and helped stand him on his knees, Chamchuri's surprise arrived: a girl.

    Buddhist monks from from Wat Traimit in Bangkok blessed the mother and twins at a ceremony Friday, The Associated Press reported. Both calves were treated with bananas and cartons of milk.

    Video shows the mother and her twin babies appearing healthy and tranquil, which wasn't quite the vibe at the birth.
    Rare twin elephants were born at the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal in Thailand. Ayutthaya Elephant Palace / Royal Kraal

    Scared mother breaks caretaker's leg who was protecting surprise infant

    The surprise female calf came as a shock to Chamchuri, who proceeded to panic.

    Workers restrained the mother to prevent her from stepping on her daughter in an incident that left one caretaker injured, the BBC reported. Charin Somwang, 31, broke his leg while restraining the mother and said he only felt the extend of his pain once he arrived at a hospital.

    "It’s normal that the new mother will always try to kick or push the baby," Somwang told the outlet. "I was afraid that she might break the baby elephant, so I put myself forward and tried to block the mother from the smaller one."

    Footage posted on social media showed the caretakers' difficulty separating the female calf from the mother, who still had blood on her hind legs from the birth, according to BBC .

    Male-female twin elephants are extra rare

    Twin births among elephants are one in 100, but male-female births are even rarer, according to research charity Save the Elephants.

    Elephant mothers often lack the amount of milk needed to support two calves, Save the Elephants founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton said in a 2022 report.

    Once Chamchuri's female calf stood up, the team cheered, veterinarian Lardthongtare Meepan told BBC.

    "We’ve always wanted to see elephant twins," Meepan said. "But not everyone can see this because it doesn’t happen a lot."

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Watch rare birth of twin elephant calves in Thailand as baby girl surprises everyone

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