One hump or two?
Wednesday 8 September 2004
Our four month old orphaned Bactrian camel, Noemie, is getting special treatment from her keepers at London Zoo to help her settle in after her move from our sister zoo, Whipsnade Wild Animal Park
Noemie can be seen each afternoon meeting her aunties, Nina and Nadia, who touch noses with her in the paddock, this 'camel's kiss' is their way of welcoming her to her new home.
Noemie, who is just five feet tall with silky soft fur, is already eating adult pellet food, hay, browse, fruit and vegetables, but it will be about four years until she is fully grown. Her humps, which are still soft, are important fat reserves, which help the animals survive long periods in the desert.
Bactrian camels still live wild in the Gobi desert on the borders of Mongolia and China, but their numbers have been dramatically reduced due to competition with domestic herds, mainly for water. There are now fewer than 500 left in the wild.
(Photo by Alisdair McDonald)