NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) - The only set of living twin giraffes in the United States have brought twice the joy to visitors to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in Central Texas.
Born on May 10, the arrival of the two giraffes marked only the second reported set of living twin giraffes born in the United States and the ninth worldwide.
Wasswa, the first-born female calf, weighed in at 95 pounds and stood 4.5 feet tall. Nakato, the second-born male calf, weighed 125 pounds and stood 5.5 feet tall.
Because the birth of living twin giraffes is so rare, caretakers at the ranch have been on high alert monitoring their health and safety.
Worried that the twin's mother wouldn't produce enough milk for both young giraffes, ranch veterinarian, Dr. Kenny Patin, said that younger twin Nakato has been hand-reared since birth to make sure he is receiving proper nutrition.
Nakato was reintroduced to his family at 4 days old but is being kept in a separate, adjacent enclosure. Caretakers say that Nakato's mother has shown mild aggression toward him, possibly seeing him as a threat to stealing milk from Wasswa. Short visits between Nakato and his mom and sister in the same enclosure must be monitored.
However, as the two approach their 3-week mark, caretaker and animal specialist Tiffany Soechting says the twins are thriving.
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