Common Name: Bactrian camel
Scientific Name: Camelus bactrianus
At the zoo: Gemma (Female, 20y) - she lives with a Dromedary camel named April
Bactrian Camels are solely found in the Gobi and Gashun Gobi deserts of northwest China and Mongolia.
They primarily feed on vegetation but have the ability to feed on a wide variety of foods which enables them to live in areas where vegetation is sparse.
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
Bactrian Camels have two humps on their backs that are made up of fatty tissues. A camel’s humps do not store water, but fat. They can go up to 2 weeks without eating or drinking using the energy reserves in their humps. Due to drastic seasonal changes in their desert environment, Bactrian camels grow a thick coat which they shed in the summer.
The wild population is only found in two small areas in western China and Mongolia. The Wild Camel Protection Foundation has established an important breeding program in Mongolia to help save this species.
Did you know that in the absence of fresh water, wild Bactrian Camels have adapted to drinking saltwater slush?