2006 News Releases
Bactrian brides head west for nuptials
WINNIPEG December 11, 2006 - The Assiniboine Park Zoo's three female Bactrian Camels are scheduled to be shipped to a zoo at Innisfail, Alberta, where Kleaver, the groom, is waiting anxiously for their arrival.
This species is uncommon in Canada, so it is important that the Zoo's females reproduce. Highly endangered in the wild, there are only 850 wild Bactrian Camels surviving in the cold deserts and high plateaus of Mongolia and south western China. Along with the Dromedary or One-humped Camel, it was brought into domestication about 6000 years ago. Camels originated in North America and spread to other continents via the Bering and Panamanian land bridges as early as 2.5 million years ago. Manitoba's native species of camels became extinct just 8,200 years ago.
The Zoo has maintained Bactrian Camels since 1961, during which time two other males, Buddy and Ringo, sired 18 offspring. The Assiniboine Park Zoo is the only zoo in North America, and one of the few in the world, to display all six members of the camel family. Well-adapted to the cold, all six species are on display everyday throughout the winter.
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