Saturday, May 26, 2012

Baby Camel Makes Debut at the Detroit Zoo

A new baby that weighed-in at 102 pounds at birth is turning up the "cute factor" a notch at the Detroit Zoo. 
The male Bactrian camel named Bulgan was born April 28 to mother Suren and father Rusty.

Pronounced (BULL-gan) he was named for a province in Mongolia where the species is from.The calf is about 3 feet tall and could grow to about 7 feet tall by the time he"s four years old.

According to the Detroit Zoo website, camels are born after a gestation period of a year to 14 months.

A newborn calf is able to stand and walk alongside its mother in as little as 30 minutes. 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.

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.

Visitors can check out Bulgan, along with his parents and a 16-year-old female camel named Princess, at the camel habitat across from the Horace H. Rackham Memorial Fountain at the Detroit Zoo.

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