Dromedary Camel at Taronga Western Plains Zoo
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
單峰駱駝 Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius)
These one humped camels are the transport that took us deep into the Sahara desert along with the Bedouin who are tangata whenua of this area.
None of the camels in the herd have the ring in the nose, which is only done in western countries. Instead, the Bedouin, whose very lives depend on the camels, train them from birth for at least three years, allowing the babies to come on walks with their mum who are the ones who carry people and equipment.
The herd just walks and it can be quite scary to have the camel you are riding shoot off and be in the lead when you do not have a clue where you are going and you do not have reins to pull them back! The Bedouin control the herd by voice commands, not raised or shouting, but just a gentle "turn right" in their language and the whole herd turns. Not every adult camel is riden, but the herd as a whole (minus the males) always travel together. Witnessing the rapour that the Bedouin and camels have was truely astounding and being able to be a part of this unique way of life very humbling.
Herd near the exit
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back. The two surviving species of camel are the dromedary, or one-humped camel (C. dromedarius), which inhabits the Middle East and the Horn of Africa; and the bactrian, or two-humped camel (C. bactrianus), which inhabits Central Asia. Both species have been domesticated; they provide milk, meat, hair for textiles or goods such as felted pouches, and are...