A Maasai giraffe in Nairobi’s national park has given birth to rare twins, Kenya’s wildlife minister announced.
On the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s 2016 Red List of threatened wildlife, the world’s tallest species was listed as ‘vulnerable to extinction.’
‘This is an extremely rare occurrence,’ Najib Balala said on Twitter, alongside a photo of the mother watching over her children.
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, only about 117,000 giraffes remain in the wild.
It claimed that the population of the gentle long-necked giant in Africa has declined by 30% in the last 30 years, describing it as a “silent extinction.”
Kenya is home to three giraffe subspecies: Maasai, reticulated, and Rothschild.
Nairobi National Park is only seven kilometers (four miles) from the heart of the Kenyan capital and attracts visitors with its wildlife, which includes lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalos that graze against a backdrop of distant skyscrapers.
Giraffes have one of the longest gestation periods among mammals, lasting 15 months. They give birth standing up, so their calves drop to the ground at a height of just under two meters (six feet).
This unexpected introduction to life has them up and running in less than an hour. A newborn calf is larger than an adult human. Only a few twin births have been documented worldwide, with the majority of them dying.
Giraffes can live for up to 25 years in the wild and more than 35 years in captivity.