Category: Ungulates

Location: Safari Drive

About Bactrian Camel

 

Instantly recognisable from their two humps, bactrian camels can live as long as 50 years! At Knowsley Safari, we have a herd of bactrian camels who live on Safari Drive and they can grow as big as seven feet tall.

 

The current population of wild camels is estimated to be less than 1,000. Wild camels live in groups of 6-20 called a caravan, flock or herd. Females are pregnant for more than a year and their young stay with them until they are at least 3-5 years old.

 

As well-adapted desert animals, they have bushy eyebrows and long eyelashes as well as nostrils that can close to protect them from sand storms. If you visit the safari in different seasons, you will notice that bactrian camels go through quite the makeover from winter to summer. In the colder months, they have a thick, messy winter coat. However, they shed this in summer which makes them look almost bald!

 

Name: Bactrian Camel

Location: Gobi Desert in Mongolia and China

Population: Around 1,000 wild camels

Status: Bactrian camels: least concern | Wild camels:Critically Endangered

Threats: Grey wolves, loss of habitat due to mining and industry

Project partners: Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF)

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Fun facts about the Bactrian Camel

Not only are they the only land mammals that can safely drink salt water, but bactrian camels are also the only camels with two humps! Whether you’re preparing for a visit or you’re just a little bit curious, take a look at these cool camel facts.

 

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    Camels have hooves like deer, antelope, pigs and rhino
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    Their feet are wide to prevent them from sinking in the sand
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    Their humps store fat reserves for when food is scarce
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    Wild camels are at risk of becoming extinct within a generation

Camel facts - Your questions answered!

There are a few differences between bactrian and dromedary Camels. The first is the number of humps. Dromedaries have just one hump where bactrian camels have two, and dromedary camels have longer limbs.

Bactrian camels are herbivores. They eat grass, leaves, grains, shrubs as well as thorny desert plants, with the help of their extremely strong mouths.

Wild camels are classed as Critically Endangered. Their biggest threat is habitat loss due to mining and industry.

Around 2 million Bactrian Camels live in conserved or domesticated areas but there are thought to be fewer than 1,000 wild camels. This number is unfortunately decreasing and they are the only camels left in the wild.

Unlike its dromedary relative, bactrian camels have two humps. These are the only camels that have two humps as the dromedary camel has just one.

Wild camels are native to Mongolia. In the wild, they can be found in the Gobi Desert, spanning across Mongolia and China.

A camel's hump is made up of stored fat. They have humps because they spend so much time walking through the desert where it may be difficult to find food or water. So, they use the stored fat in their humps to give them the energy they need.

Conservation

We work in partnership with the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF) on the ground in the Gobi Desert. The work aims to support and carefully manage captive populations, ensuring healthy and genetically diverse animals that will hopefully be suitable for release.

You can learn about our conservation efforts here.

Where to see the Bactrian Camel at Knowsley Safari

Cruise past our Bactrian Camel at zones 1 and 11 on the Safari Drive in Eastern Asia. This marks the start and end of the drive.

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