New York zoo hosts first successful elephant twin birth in U.S.

A New York zoo said an Asian elephant at the facility became the first in the United States to successfully give birth to healthy twins.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse said mother elephant Mali gave birth to male twins without complications on Oct. 24.

The zoo said elephant twins account for less than 1% of births, and often the babies are stillborn or too weak to survive. The mother also often dies in childbirth, the zoo said.

Mali’s second calf was “noticeably weaker” than its twin, but its condition was improved with attention from the zoo’s animal care team and veterinary staff, the zoo said in a news release.

The birth marked the first successful delivery of elephant twins in the United States, officials said.

“This is truly an historic moment for the zoo and our community. I couldn’t be prouder of our exceptional animal care team, the support of the veterinary staff and their tremendous dedication to Mali and the twins,” County Executive Ryan J. McMahon said. “The important research happening right here at the zoo will have a significant impact worldwide on behalf of this magnificent endangered species.”