New arrival is Zoo's first male camel in 20 years
Monday 28 June 2010
One year old Kaboobie is the latest addition to ZSL London Zoo’s herd of critically endangered Bactrian camels.
Originally born in Hamburg, Kaboobie joined ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s herd last year. The move to ZSL London Zoo will allow the youngster, who turns two next month, to grow under the watchful eye of Zoo favourites Noemie, six, and Nadia, 24.
Keeper Paul Kybett, who has worked at the Zoo for over 20 years, added: “Kaboobie is settling in really well and likes being around the two females. Even though he’s younger he’s totally unfazed and not remotely scared of them.
“He took to the girls straight away but Noemie took a bit of convincing about having him around. Initially she’d run away every time he approached but now she’s got used to him.
“Like a lot of animals, male camels tend to be more aggressive as they need to fight other males off to breed with females. However Nadia was really snappy when young and Kaboobie is a very friendly youngster. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that animals will always surprise you.”
In the wild
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.
Classified by IUCN as Critically Endangered, there are now fewer than 1,000 left in the wild.
Kaboobie’s unusual name is in homage to the flying camel in the 1960s animated television series ‘Shazzan’, a favourite with his Australian former keeper.