Elk gives birth to third set of twins despite contraceptive

Two week-old Elk twins born to five-year-old Toffee. Picture: SWNS
Two week-old Elk twins born to five-year-old Toffee. Picture: SWNS

A Fife elk has remarkably given birth to a third set of adorable twins despite being given contraception to stop her from having offspring.

Six-year-old Toffee was already a mother-of-five before giving birth to her latest set of twins earlier this month.

Toffee with the twins.

Toffee with the twins.

Workers at the Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar, gave her a contraceptive injection last year after she had given birth to five baby elk in three years.

The Scottish Deer Centre is home to 12 different species of the animal with Toffee being an Eurasian Elk.

Andrew Foster, 52, the head keeper at the centre. said that they had to make an educated guess that contraception intended for horses would work for elks.

But the injection backfired and they are now looking to re-home the babies.

He said: “We made an educated guess on the type of contraception that Toffee would need would be similar to a horse but clearly this was not the case.

“Local veterinary medicine does not typically cater to Eurasian Elk so we have to improvise a little bit.

“The father of her babies has sadly died and we’re thinking of re-homing Toffee and her children.

“Elk don’t normally start breeding until they are three-years-old but when Toffee was one and first arrived here she soon gave birth to her first set of twins.

“Elks typically just eat and procreate. I want her to have as natural a life as possible so if we take away her ability then she’s losing out on a large part of her life.

“But we did want to give her a break from giving birth to so many baby elk.

“We’re definitely doing something right if she is reproducing twins so regularly.

“Eurasian Elk are likely to produce around 10 babies in a lifetime spanning, on average, between 12 and 16 years so Toffee is well on her way to surpassing that number.”

The deer centre also caters for other animals such as bears, otters and wolves which have a loose connection to deer such as staying in their typical habitat.

Around 140 animals are thought to be cared for at the deer centre.