Name the new camel at the Detroit Zoo - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Name the new camel at the Detroit Zoo

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HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. (WJBK) - Here's some happy hump-day news: A new camel has been born at the Detroit Zoo. Guess what else?  He needs a name.  In May, Fox 2 Facebook fans offered up their choices for a name.  The Detroit Zoo has narrowed the choices to two:

Humphrey and Mortimer.

So pick one by adding your vote to the comment section below or go to the Fox 2 Facebook page.  Thanks.

Here's some information about the new camel:

The male Bactrian camel was born May 18 to 6-year-old mother Suren and 6-year-old father Rusty.  The calf can be seen in the camel habitat across from the Horace H. Rackham Memorial Fountain. 


Camels are born after a gestation period of 12 to 14 months.  A newborn calf is able to stand and walk alongside its mother in as little as 30 minutes. 

The calf weighed 126 pounds at birth and currently stands about 3 feet tall on long, slender legs.  His coat is soft and gray but will eventually grow thick and coarse as it changes to a sandy-brown color.  A camel’s humps are limp at birth, consisting mostly of skin and hair.  When the calf reaches about 6 months old, the humps will become more defined as they fill with fat.

Contrary to popular belief, camels store fat – not water – in their humps, providing energy when food is limited.  The Bactrian camel has two humps, compared to the dromedary camel, which has one. The easiest way to remember this camel trivia is to turn the first letter of the camel’s name on its side.  “B” for Bactrian has a double hump and “D” for dromedary has a single hump. 

The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) stands about 7 feet tall at the humps and weighs up to 1,600 when it reaches maturity at around age 4.  The species has many physical adaptations for life in a harsh desert environment.  Its two-toed large feet allow it to walk across desert sand without sinking, and two rows of long, thick eyelashes and narrow, slit-like nostrils can be quickly closed to keep the sand out.

With the ability to survive in temperatures ranging from minus 20 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, Bactrian camels are well-suited to Michigan’s climate.  They grow thick winter coats to withstand cold temperatures, and in the summer their coats shed away in large clumps, giving them a ragged, unkempt appearance. 

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