Contact: Dr. Alex Ernst, Associate Veterinarian
September 27, 2017
One Hump or Two? The Cape May County Zoo Receives a Bactrian Camel Calf to Complete the Set
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ – The Cape May County Zoo has a new arrival to add to the growing zoo family. The newest animal is a Bactrian camel that came to the Zoo from the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York.
Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, who serves as the liaison to the Cape May County Parks and Zoo, introduced the new arrival. “We would like to welcome ‘Walter’, a 6 month old male Bactrian camel to our Zoo. Walter is one of two camel species and is different from the Arabian Dromedary camel because he has two humps, rather than one.”
There are 2 species of Camel in the world, the Dromedary Camel which has one hump and the Bactrian camel which has two humps. The humps store fat that is converted to water and provides energy when food is not available. These humps can each store up to 80 pounds of fat and give camels the ability to endure long periods of travel without water, in harsh desert conditions. As their fat is depleted, the humps become floppy and flabby.
The Cape May County Zoo now has representatives from both species. “Walter will join his one-humped cousin, our Dromedary Camel named ‘Marty’ in a few months, once he gets a little bigger. In the meantime you can view Walter every day in the Llama and Alpaca habitat directly adjacent to our Dromedary Camel ‘Marty’, Hayes added.
Bactrian Camels have been domesticated for over 4000 years, however there is still a Critically Endangered wild population that resides in the Gobi Desert region of China and Mongolia. There are an estimated 1,000 wild Bactrian camels, about 600 in China and about 350 in Mongolia.
Arabian Dromedary and Bactrian camel's nostrils close to keep sand out, their bushy eyebrows and two rows of long eyelashes protect their eyes from blowing sand. Big, flat footpads help them navigate the rough rocky terrain and shifting desert sands without sinking under their own massive bulk or the weight of heavy packs.
The Cape May County Park and Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information go to: cmczoo.com