Hump Day at Brookfield Zoo

March 19, 2008 4:33:33 PM PDT
Two new humps have been added to Brookfield Zoo's camel herd. The baby boy, a Bactrian camel, is a welcome addition to the zoo- and the wild, where Bactrian camels are disappearing.

Four-year-old Zhana is the new mother of the yet to be named baby. He is her first offspring. The baby is the zoo's 12th Bactrian camel since 1939, and the first one born at the zoo in 18 years.

"It weighed about 100 pounds when it was first born. Now it's about 112 pounds," said Bill Steele, senior Keeper Brookfield Zoo. "It's doing great."

Once full grown, the camel will have two huge fat-filled humps on his back. Right now, he's got two small empty humps.

"A double humper is a Bactrian Camel. They come from northern China and Mongolia," said Steele.

So, he's not a desert camel.

"No, no that would be a Dromedarian. Those are the more desert dwelling animals," said Steele. The Dromedarian have one hump.

In about six months or so the baby's double humps will fill with fat and eventually he will be a 7' tall and 1,000 pound double thumper who will drink a lot of water.

"A camel can drink about 32 gallons of water in about ten minutes and then go two to three weeks without having to drink more water."

The baby camel was born on February 28th.


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