Zoo Miami recently announced the birth of a Bactrian camel.
After a pregnancy of approximately 14 months, “Sunny,” a 3- year-old female that arrived at Zoo Miami in November of 2017 from her birthplace at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, IA, gave birth to what appears to be a healthy baby girl. The newborn weighed just over 96 pounds. The father is 9-year-old “Bubba,” and he arrived from his birthplace at the Minnesota Zoo in 2012. This is the first offspring for both parents.
Bactrian camels are critically endangered in the wild where it is believed that less than 1,000 remain. They are found in isolated pockets of the Gobi desert in Mongolia and China and are distinguished from the Dromedary camel by having two humps as opposed to one.
They can live up to 50 years and weigh over 1,500 pounds.
Contrary to popular belief, their humps are not full of water, but rather fat, which can enable them to go for long periods of time without any food. They rarely sweat and are extremely adept at conserving water which enables them to get much of the water they need from the vegetation they eat. When they do drink, they have the ability to drink up to 30 gallons at a time.
They also are well adapted for living in extreme temperatures, growing a very thick coat to withstand winter temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit which they will shed in the summer when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mom and baby will remain off exhibit until the staff feels that the two have bonded well and that the as yet unnamed newborn’s development is progressing well.