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Pachyderm Pair: Possible Set of Elephant Twins Spotted in Sri Lanka

© AP Photo / Eranga JayawardenaTwo elephant calves play at an elephant orphanage in Pinnawala, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Two elephant calves play at an elephant orphanage in Pinnawala, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka - Sputnik International
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A very unusual pair of baby elephants were spotted in South Asia this week, who experts think might be the first-ever observed pair of twins.

The duo was seen grazing with a herd of roughly a dozen elephants in Sri Lanka’s Minneriya National Park sanctuary - about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of the capital of Colombo, reported AFP. 

Officials are confident enough to “say they are twins,” Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation Director-General Tharaka Prasad told AFP on Wednesday, after carefully observing the animals from a distance. 

Prasad stated that park rangers are carrying out DNA tests on the herd’s dung to be sure. If the results match, this would be the first time wildlife officials in the country have seen elephant twins alongside their mother, he added.

The young siblings were photographed feeding from the same mother on Monday by renowned conservationist Sumith Pilapitiy, who told AFP he also believes the two elephants are in fact a rare set of twins. 

The animals were seen near an area where seven elephants were killed by poison in September, for which local farmers were blamed, AFP reported.

Nearly 200 elephants are killed every year on the island nation, many at the hands of farmers after the wondrous giants stray onto their land, noted AFP. The Sri Lankan elephant population, estimated at around 12,000 in the early 1900s, has fallen to just over 7,000 according to the latest census.
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