In our collection
In summer 2009 our three camels arrived from Edinburgh Zoo. We have two females, Caramel and Khara, and one younger male, Karnali born in 2007 at Blackpool Zoo.
Where to see them
They can be seen in our entrance reserve and from the walkway across it.
Threats and Conservation
Wild Bactrian camels have been heavily hunted for meat and skin and as well as competing with domestic animals for water and food; they are at risk of extinction due to hybridising with domestic camels. As a result of this, only a few fragmented, pure-bred populations remain.
Some areas of the Gobi and Gashun Gobi desert (Lop Nur), where the Bactrian camel remain, are protected by the Great Gobi Reserve in Mongolia which was established in 1982, and the new national reserve ‘Lop Nur Wild Camel Reserve’ in China. A captive breeding programme based in Mongolia and run by the Wild Camel Protection Foundation began in 2003.
Camels can drink about 55 litres of water at once in order to replenish reserves they have lost. It is a common misconception that they store this in their humps, whereas in reality their humps are used to store fat.
Their feet are large & splayed to cope with walking on sand & loose surfaces.
Bactrian camels have 2 humps while Dromedary camels have 1 hump. An easy way to remember this is to mentally turn a camel on end, then you'll notice that Bactrian humps look like a "B" (for Bactrian) and Dromedary humps look like a "D" (for Dromedary)!