We missed this one back in June, and thought you'd like to see it! WARNING – beginning portions of the video which show the actual birth may be considered too graphic for some!
June 15, 2020 -Zoo Miami is very happy to announce the birth of a Bactrian camel! After a pregnancy of approximately 14 months, “Sunny,” a 3 year old female that arrived at Zoo Miami in November of 2017 from her birthplace at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, gave birth to what appears to be a healthy baby girl! The newborn weighed just over 96 pounds! The father is 9 year old “Bubba,” and he arrived from his birthplace at the Minnesota Zoo in 2012. This is the first offspring for both parents.
Bactrian camels are critically endangered in the wild where it is believed that less than a thousand remain. They are found in isolated pockets of the Gobi desert in Mongolia and China and are distinguished from the Dromedary camel by having two humps as opposed to one. They can live up to 50 years and weigh over 1,500 pounds.
Contrary to popular belief, their humps are not full of water, but rather fat, which can enable them to go for long periods of time without any food. They rarely sweat and are extremely adept at conserving water which enables them to get much of the water they need from the vegetation they eat. When they do drink, they have the ability to drink up to 30 gallons at a time. They are also well adapted for living in extreme temperatures, growing a very thick coat to withstand winter temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit which they will shed in the summer when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mom and baby will remain off exhibit until the staff feels that the two have bonded well and that the as yet unnamed newborn’s development is progressing well.
The Milwaukee County Zoo announced the birth of a male Bactrian Camel on June 7. The calf, named Jethro, was born to parents Addie-Jean (better known as A.J.) and Stan.
Mother, A.J., is 7-years-old, and father, Stan, is 6-years-old. This is A.J. and Stan’s second offspring. Their other son, George, was born in 2017.
Jethro weighed 85 pounds at birth, which is underweight for a newborn calf. Zookeepers also noticed that the he had trouble nursing due to his lower jaw being longer than his upper. Because of his low weight and inability to adequately feed on his own, zookeepers began providing supplemental bottle feedings for the calf.
However, at 5 weeks old, he was gaining weight and began to have the energy levels for a camel his age. Vets are continuing to carefully monitor the camel’s weight and overall health.
Bactrian Camels (Camelus bactrianus) can grow up to 7 feet tall and weigh up to 1,800 pounds. They have long, wooly coats that range in color from dark brown to beige. Bactrians also have manes and beards of long hair on their necks and throats. They can be distinguished from other species of camels by their two humps—Dromedary camels only have one.
Bactrian Camels are native to central Asia. They migrate with flocks through harsh conditions; including, sparse vegetation, limited water sources, and extreme temperatures. They have several adaptations that allow them to survive in these conditions. For one, their humps allow them to travel long distances without food or water. It is a common misconception that the humps store water; however, they actually store fat, which can be used as energy when nutrients aren’t available. Another adaptation is their two rows of long eyelashes that block their eyes from sand and dust.
They are herbivores and have extremely tough mouths that allow them to eat almost any type of vegetation, even those with thorns. In times of environmental stress, they will eat fish, carcasses, and rope, among others.
Wild Bactrian Camels are considered “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN. Their population is expected to decrease by 80 percent in the next three generations because of hunting and predation.
Milwaukee County Zoo visitors got quite a surprise on March 5 when they witnessed Bactrian Camel, Sanchi, give birth to her calf on exhibit! The handsome camel calf was named Patrick in honor of the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday!
Sanchi has given birth to several calves before, and she is quite accustomed to motherhood. This is the first offspring for dad, Stan. Accordingly, zookeepers are keeping Stan separate from Patrick until they can better assess his anticipated behavior near the calf. Big sister, AJ, also isn’t quite sure what to make of this new addition to the group, and has been keeping her distance for now.
The new guy weighed-in at about 100 pounds at birth and was walking less than two hours later. Zoo staff report that Patrick is extremely confident with loads of personality and was quite a handful during his first veterinary medical exam! Keepers are currently working on desensitizing Patrick to their touch, so his hooves, ears and other areas can be more easily examined by veterinarians as he grows.
For enrichment and as an outlet for his boisterous energy, keepers have been providing Patrick with “jolly balls”, commonly used with horses, which he very much likes to kick at. He is currently nursing from mom but will soon begin exploring solid foods, such as: hay, pellet mix, carrots and apples.
The Bactrian Camel (Camelus bactrianus) is a large, two-humped, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) uses the binomial name Camelus ferus for the wild Bactrian Camel and reserves Camelus bactrianus for the domesticated Bactrian Camel. (Their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria.)
There are currently three species of camels: the one-humped Dromedary, the domestic two-humped Bactrian Camel, and the wild Bactrian Camel. Wild Bactrian Camels are listed as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, primarily due to hunting and development associated with the mining industry in China and Mongolia.
Bactrian Camels are diurnal, sleeping in the open at night and foraging for food during the day. They are primarily herbivorous. They are able to eat plants that are dry, prickly, salty or bitter, and can ingest virtually any kind of vegetation.
Gestation lasts around 13 months, with most young being born from March through April. One or, occasionally, two calves are produced, and the female can give birth to a new calf every other year. Young Bactrian Camels are precocial, being able to stand and run shortly after birth, and are fairly large at an average birth weight of 36 kg (79 lb). They are nursed for about 1.5 years. The young calf will stay with its mother for three to five years, until it reaches sexual maturity, and often serves to help raise subsequent generations for those years.
The Milwaukee County Zoo hopes its Bactrian Camel herd can serve as ambassadors for the declining wild camel population.
Although the schedule may fluctuate, Patrick is usually on exhibit for several hours beginning at about 10 a.m. daily. He tends to be most active in the morning, so that is an ideal time for visitors to see him. The Zoo encourages visitors to stop by the outdoor Camel Yard and meet the new guy, Patrick!
The Welsh Mountain Zoo has excitedly revealed details of their latest arrival, a female Bactrian Camel, named Willow.
At a little over five-weeks-old, the double-hump-backed baby is said to be fit and well, cautiously exploring her new surroundings under the watchful eye of parents, Clara and Ghengis.
The Zoo has a 15-year history with this breed of rare Camels, and the arrival of Willow marks the fourth baby to be born there.
Jamie Toffrey, Marketing Officer at the Welsh Mountain said, “Willow is a real delight and she is very much out and about, fitting in comfortably in her new home.”
There are now three Bactrian Camels in total at the Zoo. The breed is endangered, with only 1,000, or less, of their relatives remaining in the wild.
The Welsh Mountain Zoo is part of a carefully controlled international captive species breeding programme, and they welcomed the first Bactrian Camel ever to be born in Wales, some 10 years ago. Jamie added, “We’re incredibly proud of our successful breeding programme and the role we are playing raising awareness of the species.”
The Bactrian Camel (Camelus bactrianus) is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. It has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary camel. The Bactrian Camel’s population of two million exists mainly in the domesticated form. Some authorities, notably the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), use the binomial name ‘Camelus ferus’ for the wild Bactrian Camel and reserve ‘Camelus bactrianus’ for the domesticated Bactrian. Their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria.
The mating season occurs in the fall. Males are often quite violent and may bite, spit, or attempt to sit on other male camels. The age of sexual maturity varies, but is usually reached at 3 to 5 years. Gestation lasts around 13 months, with most young being born from March through April. One or, occasionally, two calves are produced, and the female can give birth to a new calf every other year.
Young Bactrian Camels are precocial, being able to stand and run shortly after birth, and are fairly large at an average birth weight of 36 kg (79 lb). They are nursed for about 1.5 years. The young calf stays with its mother for three to five years, until it reaches sexual maturity, and often serves to help raise subsequent generations for those years.
The domesticated Bactrian Camel has served as a pack animal in inner Asia since ancient times. With its tolerance for cold, drought, and high altitudes, it enabled the travel of caravans on the Silk Road. Its range in the wild is restricted to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and China. A small number of wild Bactrian Camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest Kazakhstan and the Kashmir Valley in India. Feral herds of Bactrians are found in Australia.
The wild form has dwindled to a population estimated at 800 in October 2002 and has been classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The immediate threats faced by the species are all human related. Habitat loss has been high due to development for mining and industrial complexes. Due to increasing human populations, wild Camels are forced to share food and water sources with introduced domestic stock, thus are sometimes shot by farmers. Included in this stock are domesticated Bactrians, which freely mate with wild individuals. This has led to a concern of a loss of genetically distinct wild Bactrian Camels.
A Bactrian Camel born on February 25 is already winning fans at the Cincinnati Zoo. Keepers announced the male baby’s name, Jack, one week and one day later – on Hump Day, of course.
Photo Credit: Cincinnati Zoo
Zoo keepers filmed Jack’s first steps, which were taken just an hour after he was born. Because the weather was so cold during his first week, Jack wore a coat to help him stay warm! Luckily, the cold spell did not last and the zoo captured photos of Jack and his mother, Sarrai.
Bactrian camels are native to the steppes of Central Asia. They have two humps, in comparison to the one-humped Dromedary Camel native to the Middle East and northern Africa. They were domesticated thousands of years ago and transported humans vast distances in ancient times. Able to survive up to 10 months without drinking water, Bactrian camels are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Fewer than 1,000 Bactrian Camels survive in the wild; interbreeding with domestic populations is diminishing the genetic integrity of the species.
See more photos of Jack below.
There’s a new addition in the Camel yard at Poland’s Krakow Zoo: a female Bactrian Camel was born on May 15.
Photo Credit: Krakow Zoo
Bactrian Camels are pregnant for about 13 ½ months. Prior to giving birth, females remove themselves from the herd for a short time, which is a sign to zoo keepers that the baby’s arrival is imminent. Females give birth every two to three years.
Male and female Camels mature at different rates. Females are mature by age three, while males don’t mature until they are five to seven years old. Young males typically form bachelor herds, while females remain in the same herd as their mothers.
Sweden's Parken Zoo has a new arrival. First-time mom Alpaca Sabrina delivered the baby with ease on Friday the 13th at 11:00 a.m. The baby is healthy and both are doing well. Babies tend to weigh between 10 and 17 pounds and will grow to a weight of anywhere between 100-190 pounds as adults.
Alpacas are a member of the camel (camelid) family, domesticated, and shorn for their valuable fleeces. Alpacas do not have a heat (estrus) cycle and so can be bred any time of the year. The average gestation period of 335 days produces a single baby which is usually delivered from a standing position during daylight hours.
There are about 3.5 million Alpacas in the Andean highlands, mostly in Peru. The North American herd has increased, after they were first imported in 1984, from a few Alpacas in zoos and private collections to about 20,000! Alpacas are in demand for their luxurious shorn fur and as pet, show, and investment animals in Canada, England, Poland, France, Israel, and Australia, New Zealand, as well as the USA.
Standing up can be a big challenge when you've got extra-long legs and haven't had much practice. But Nara, a female Bactrian Camel born on April 24 at Zoo Zurich, finally got the hang of it.
Photo Credit: Zoo Zürich, Peter Bolliger
Bactrian Camels have been domesticated for use as pack animals in central Asia for centuries. Their exceptional tolerance of extreme heat and freezing temperatures and their ability to go for several months without water makes them ideal for travelling across the remote steppes of central Asia. More than two million domesticated Bactrian camels exist, but they are critically endangered, possibly extinct, in the wild.
Sao Paulo Zoo in Brazil welcomed a male Dromedary Camel calf in the early hours of July 18th. Zara, the calf's mother, was not able to feed her baby, and zookeepers have begun to bottle-feed him with goat's milk. Until August 27th, the public can suggest a name for the baby and participate in a drawing to win a chance to feed him by hand!
More photos beneath the fold!
Saarai (pronounced “sorry”), the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s three-year-old Bactrian camel, gave birth to her first calf on Monday, April 23 and it's a boy. The last time the Zoo celebrated a camel birth was in 1983, so this birth was much anticipated by Zoo staff.
Saarai became restless early Monday morning, and keepers noticed that she wasn’t eating or behaving as normal. As the afternoon approached, she began to pace and shortly thereafter keepers noticed the first signs of active labor. Staff blocked the outdoor exhibit off to the public and Saarai delivered the calf at 3:15 p.m. while the father, three-year-old Humphrey, watched from the neighboring exhibit. Soon after delivery, Saarai began nuzzling her calf; the baby first attempted to stand around 4 p.m. Mom and calf are doing well and will remain off exhibit, spending time nursing and bonding.
The Zoo is asking for help in naming the baby. Keepers have selected their top three choices (Henry, Lyn and Cain), and the public can vote for their favorite online through Monday, April 30. The winning name will be announced on May 1.