Niabi Zoo welcomes pair of Bactrian camels

COAL VALLEY, Illinois — Two new camels are joining Niabi Zoo.

On Saturday, May 13, the zoo welcomed a pair of Bactrian camels. They are housed in a large exhibit at the front of the zoo.

Zoo director Lee Jackson said the camels are on the critically endangered list.

Bactrian camels can grow as tall as 7 feet at the hump, and the camels can weigh up to 1,800 pounds. The animals are mainly herbivores, and they prefer desert, dune, or savanna habitats. The Bactrian camel primarily lives in parts of central Asia and western China.

“It’s easy to tell the difference between Bactrian and the Arabian Dromedary camels, which the zoo already has,” said assistant director Tammy Schmidt. “The difference… is the number of humps on their back. The Bactrian camel has two humps that actually may resemble the letter ‘B’, and the Dromedary has only one hump on their back shaped like the letter ‘D.'”

Niabi Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.