A ‘rare’ white elephant has been born in Myanmar, according to state officials.

The male calf was born at 6.30 a.m. on 23rd July in Rakhine, a state on the country’s west coast.

He already stands at roughly two and a half foot tall and just over three foot wide.

His mother is a 33-year-old female elephant called Zar Nan Hla, who is kept by the Myanma Timber Enterprise in Taungup Township. Both are reportedly happy and healthy.

The country’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation announced the ‘auspicious’ birth on Tuesday.

White elephants are rare, but they’re not a distinct species.

Officials say they can be distinguished by up to eight unique traits: pearl-coloured eyes, a back shaped like a plantain branch, white hair, a distinctive tail, special skin markings, reddish brown or pinkish skin, big ears and five claws on their front legs and four on their back legs.

The newly-born elephant reportedly has all but one of these.

White elephants are revered as symbols of good luck and power in much of Southeast Asia.

In fact, the animals were once so highly prized that countries have gone to war over them. During the sixteenth century, war broke out between Siama and Burma — now Thailand and Myanmar — over a demand for two white elephants.

The country has previously captured nine of the rare animals, according to USA Today.

But, as AFP reports, the social media response to the latest birth has been muted in the wake of last year’s military coup.

Source: Read Full Article