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Camels (extant/living species; Camelus spp.): Managed Care

Camels (Camelus spp.)

From Wild to Domesticated

  • A small population of introduced dromedaries and Bactrian camels survived in the Southwest United States until the 1900s.
    • Imported from Turkey.
    • Part of the US Camel Corps experiment, used as draft animals in mines.
    • Escaped or were released after the project was terminated.
  • Camel milk is a staple food of desert nomad tribes - richer in fat and protein than cow milk.
    • Cannot be made into butter in the traditional churning method. – must be soured first, churned, and a clarifying agent added.
    • The milk can readily be made into yogurt.
    • Many healthful properties - used as a medicinal product in India.
    • Bedouin tribes believe it has curative powers.
  • The Wild Camel Protection Foundation has established a managed care breeding program in Mongolia.
    • Only 15 wild Bactrian camels are currently in managed care in China and Mongolia.
    • Females can produce 1 young every two years.
    • Artificial insemination may be necessary with such small numbers.
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Page Citations

Gauthier-Pilters & Dagg (1981)
Wild Camel Protection Foundation

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