A pair of two-humped camels gave birth to offspring at Hodonín Zoo, Czechia. This is a male who came into the world on Thursday, March 10 in the early hours of the morning. The first days after birth, the cub spends in the paddock together with the mother, so that they both have peace and space to strengthen. After about a week, the father will be joining them. This is the third offspring of this breeding pair, so the mother has experience from previous breeding: “First-time breeding tends to be more complicated in this species. We had to hand-feed the first calf to gain weight sufficiently, but with this and the previous calf, things went without problems and from the second day the male drinks mother’s milk from the mother,” says zoologist Zdenka Vavrysová.
The first calf, a male, was born to the couple in the spring of 2017 and in 2018 went to a zoo in Holland. The second cub born in 2019 was a female, who a year later left for the Klaipeda Zoo in Litev. The parents of the breeding pair came to the Hodonín Zoo in 2013, one comes from the Liberec Zoo and the other from the Beekse Bergen safaripark in the Netherlands. Both were born in 2012. Before their arrival, the Hodonín Zoo bred single-humped camels, the breeding of which was terminated after the death of the breeding female.
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In nature, the double-humped camel (Camelus bactrianus) has almost become extinct and is considered critically endangered. WIth domestic breeding, we consume about 1.5 million double-humped camels and they are bred mainly for fur, as a means of transport or for transporting heavy loads. They come from the Central Asian region, where they inhabit inhospitable deserts and steppes. They feed on grass, leaves and plants, which they pluck with the help of long lower incisors. Camels walk in a typical off-course gait (they lift both left or both right limbs at the same time). They are also known for being able to survive several long weeks without water. They can drink almost 60 liters of water at a time, and their kidneys are able to concentrate urine and minimize fluid loss. The liquid is absorbed even from the droppings, therefore camel droppings are almost dry. But in the humps they retain fat, not water, as is mistakenly said.