Rare Baby Camel Born in Budapest Zoo

    April 15, 2014
    Mike Tuttle
    Comments are off for this post.


Critically endangered – possibly even extinct in the wild – the Bactrian camel is a rare species with two humps on its back and has served as a domestic pack animal since before 2500 BCE. But last Wednesday in the Budapest Zoo and Botanic Garden, a rare event occurred.

A baby Bactrian camel was born.

Baby Ilias was born to his 8-year old mother, Iris, whose maternal line has lived in the zoo for many generations. His father came from a zoo in Miskolc in north-eastern Hungary.

Today, Ilias was presented to the media and given time to bond with his mother, which proved to be difficult at first.

“When he was born there were problems, the baby was looking for milk from the mother, but as this was her first baby she had no experience,” said Zoltan Hanga, a spokesperson for Budapest Zoo. “Us zookeepers had to hold down the mother and gently help the baby to feed.”

Bactrian camel gestation usually lasts 13 months with most young being born from March through May (following mating season in the fall). Being precocial, baby camels are able to stand and run shortly after birth. Their average birth weight is 79 pounds. (Wow. Way to go, Mother Camel.) A baby camel usually stays with its mother for 3 to 5 years and nurses for 1 to 2 years. (Once again, go Mother Camel.)

Pictures of the baby began to spread online after Ilias’ presentation today, warming the hearts of many across the world.

“Thank God this wasn’t at the Copenhagen Zoo,” a commenter wrote on Yahoo News. “They’d all been shot by now. Beautiful baby. I hope it lives a long happy life.”

The Budapest Zoo currently has over 1072 species of animals and boasts over 1 million visitors a year. The park first opened its doors on August 9, 1866.

Image via YouTube

  • Duke LaCroix

    “Thank God this wasn’t at the Copenhagen Zoo,” a commenter wrote on Yahoo News. “They’d all been shot by now. Beautiful baby. I hope it lives a long happy life.”

    I have no idea why this quote was included in the article.

    I can only guess Mike Tuttle doesn’t like Danes.

    • Kirstin ‘Honsey’ McLendon

      Recently the Copenhagen Zoo was in the news because it euthanized a healthy giraffe, and continues to breed more simply to make a “life experience” for the parents.

      • SB

        Just to add a little more information regarding that quote:

        The giraffe was a perfectly healthy 18 month old animal, named Marius. It was killed (in front of many spectators, young children included) to feed a pride of their lions. To make matters even worse, they later killed those 4 lions that ate the perfectly healthy young giraffe in order to “make room for a new young lion coming to the zoo” citing it needed to be done to “discourage inbreeding”. This zoo should be shut down, and all the animals living there rescued and sent to no-kill facilities.

        If you’d like to read for yourself:


        The circle of life is one thing, but to intentionally breed these exotic animals only to later kill them to make room for the “new” animal exhibits (only to publicly kill those when the next new toy comes along) is an unacceptable practice. But maybe that’s just how Danes treat supposedly “protected” wildlife. SMH

    • zee

      The Copenhagen Zoo has recently euthanized a young giraffe & a family of lions including 2 cubs. The comment was in concern for the offense of the zoo – but we may not have all the facts. It is sad this zoo was not able to place these animals elsewhere rather than destroy them.

      • Kathleen

        There were places ready and willing to take those animals. The Copenhagen Zoo would not let them. Instead, they wanted to show the world how horribly wrong they are. That zoo should be shut down and all the animals taken into safe custody. What they did to that poor young giraffe was insane. Apparantly, these people love to watch animals being chopped into pieces and fed to other animals that haven’t a clue that they are next on the chopping block. Sick – sick – sick. Wouldn’t go there if it were the last place on earth.

    • Johnny lood

      zoo rivalry digs

    • TupacSpitFlyingThroughTheAir

      I don’t f*** with Danes either. BUDAPEST GANG WE’RE FROM THAT ‘1’ AREA CODE BOY! F*** A DANE! GIRAFFES SUCK TOO!

      • TupacSpitFlyingThroughTheAir


  • debbi

    Why would they shot this two hump baby? I imagine Copenhagen Zoo might have had a better reason than to euthanize the giraffe – only to provide the parents with life experience. Was the healthy giraffe deformed or something? Hard to believe a zoo wouldn’t just sell the critter to another wild life sanctuary or something of course unless money – grant funds or something monetary was at the root source to breed and have an additional giraffe baby. Weird for sure. I just think the little two humper is just too cute and looks like a fun ride once he/she gets a little bigger in a few years.

    • LolliT

      Not only did they e
      uthanize a young healthy giraffe because they said they couldn’t find anyone who wanted it, yet like Kristin said, they continue to breed them but they also euthanized two adult and four Lion cubs for the same excuse. Everyone is asking why they keep breeding them then?

    • mickster22

      Copenhagen Zoo director Belnt Holst was on BBC defending his slaughter of Marius, 15month old Giraffe! A British zoo offered to take him, also an American from LA. Holst is as cold as a Danish winter, his zoo should be Boycotted till he resigns- his reason: too many for the Gene pool! Even more disturbing, invited kids to butchering, took film. There is a petition on web. Animals have as much right to their lives as we do. Holst should of taken kids to slaughter house if he genuinely wanted to demonstrate the process. They lured poor Marius with his favorite food…..rye bread!

  • joell

    i agree that baby camel was not born in a zoo

  • jan

    I just love the baby camel! Corny sounding, “I could just kiss it!” I certainly hope it will be well kept.

  • bill

    Good Camel Good Zoo!

  • Donna Wallace

    This rare baby looks absolutely regal!

  • TupacSpitFlyingThroughTheAir

    Y’all acting like ain’t never seen a rare ass camel baby before. Get over yourselves. I’m a rare ass baby, yes. But, that doesn’t give you a right to comment on my mother’s child bearing abilities. It didn’t add anything to your story. I’m sure your mom loved it when people commented on how much you destroyed her vagina with your giant human baby head. If I see you in Budapest, we gon have some prollems, ok, MIKE.


    Ilias The Rare Ass Camel Baby

  • Outzie

    There is nothing rare about a Bactrian camel. They have been used as pack animals for thousands of years, and are readily available for purchase from exotic animal dealers.

    • Weetoo

      Did you even read the article?

  • italian maven

    Hopefully, the zoo will keep this little one alive. As the Born Free Foundation states, “The ‘price of success’ of captive breeding in zoos is a surplus of animals. These surplus animals present a problem for zoos limited by space, resources, and the desire to keep animals that they think the public will want to see….They are surely not reintroduced into the wild.”

  • DiamondDaveRolfes


  • Stephen Hess

    TAKE SAMPLES OF IT’S DNA!!!!!!!!!!

  • John Morris

    If mating season is in the fall and the gestation period is 13 months, how is it that the births take place in the spring?