Our Camel Weekend is coming up this July. Over the 22nd and 23rd of July, we’ll be running events around the foot safari and the safari drive dedicated to our lovely camels.
This weekend isn’t just about celebrating our camels though! We’re also raising money for a cause close to our hearts and a charity we’ve pledged our support to, The Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF).
The Wild Camel Protection Foundation’s sole aim is to protect the critically endangered wild Bactrian camel and its habitat. You may not have realised that the wild Bactrian camel is actually a completely different species to the domestic Bactrian camel you see here on our safari drive!
WCPF are the only charity in the world working to protect this rare species of camel. The wild Bactrian camel is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and there are only around 1100 left in the wild.
You might be wondering what makes this camel so special, and why is it so different from our charismatic caravan of camel here on the park. Well, around 700,000 years ago, there was a genetic split between wild and domestic Bactrian camels, which means now they each have some very different and distinct characteristics. The wild camels adapted to live in very different environments, including some populations residing in a nuclear testing area in China. This group of wild camels were subjected to high levels of radiation and yet have continued to breed with seemingly no effect. Amazing!
The wild Bactrian camel can also drink salt water! It’s the only living mammal species with this amazing ability. They do this because no fresh water was available, so instead of going thirsty, they adapted!
So you can see that this subspecies of camel is hardy one! They’ve withstood extremes in weather and habitat, but they still need our help. This is where The Wild Camel Protection Foundation come in, and all the support we can give them.
Their goal is to protect the few wild camels left and to help them breed and build upon this small population. Our help here at the safari park, and the help of those taking part on our camel weekend, will provide food to this incredible species and help them thrive in the wild!
So come along on July 22nd and 23rd, meet our gorgeous domestic camels and discover more amazing facts about the incredible wild Bactrian camel. Find more about Camel Weekend here.