A rare baby camel named Ilias, born on April 9, made his debut today at the Budapest Zoo, New Straits Times report.
According to New Straits Times, the rare baby camel is a wild Bactrian camel – an endangered species. Contrary to its name, most of the world’s wild Bactrian camels – scientifically known as Camelus bactrianus ferus – are domesticated. A small and endangered group of between 800 and 900 of the rare camels live in the China and Mongolia in the Gobi Desert region. The species is believed to be close to extinction in the wild.
The rare baby camel was born to an eight-year-old mother named Iris and sired by a camel from a different Hungarian Zoo in Miskolc.
The Budapest Zoo spokesman Zoltan Hanga said to AFP:
“When he was born there were problems, the baby was looking for milk from the mother, but as this was her first baby she had no experience. Us zookeepers had to hold down the mother and gently help the baby to feed.”
New Straits Times said, wild Bactrian camels are recognized among the top 10 most endangered large mammal species in the world. Captive breeding efforts like the one that brought us the rare baby camel named Ilias are a significant part of efforts to save the species from extinction.
According to the New Straits Times, the Budapest Zoo is one of the world’s oldest existing zoos, founded in 1866.