A rare white elephant, seen in Buddhist-majority countries as a sign of good omens, was born in late July in western Myanmar, state media reported on Wednesday.

When it was born on July 23 in Rakhine state, the elephant weighed almost 80 kg and was about 70 cm tall, according to the Global New Light of Myanmar. It meets seven of the eight characteristics associated with albino elephants, including “pearl-colored eyes”, “white fur” and “a characteristic tail”, according to the official newspaper. His 33-year-old mother, named Zar Nan Hla, belongs to a public timber company.

The images released by the state network show the elephant, who still has no name, playing in the water with his mother. Rare white elephants are considered a symbol of good luck in some Buddhist cultures of Southeast Asia, which associate them with royalty.

According to the state media, there are six specimens in captivity in Naypyidaw, the capital, most of them from Rakhine state and the Ayeyarwady region (south). On social networks, several Internet users were skeptical, in a context of tensions in the country, plunged into chaos since the military coup of February 1, 2021 and the repression that followed.

“Elephants were important only in times past,” one of them commented. “Now the poor elephant will have to go to jail,” said another.

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