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.
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