Rare Baby Camel Makes First Appearance in Budapest Zoo

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The public got its first look at a rare baby camel at Budapest Zoo and Botanic Garden on Tuesday, following its birth there last week.

Baby Ilias, a male of the endangered wild Bactrian or Camelus bactrianus ferus species, was born on Apr. 9 to its 8-year-old mother Iris.

Zookeepers waited until Tuesday to present Baby Ilias to the public so as to allow time for him to first bond with his mother.

"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," Hanga said.

Iris comes from a maternal line of camels who have lived for several generations at Budapest Zoo, which opened in 1866. The zoo is said to be one of the oldest zoos in the world.

Baby Ilias' father, Ilias, was also presented to the public on at Budapest Zoo on Tuesday. Ilias is from a zoo located in Miskolc, a small city in northeastern Hungary.

Bactrian camels have two humps and are indigenous not to the Sahara, but the rocky deserts of Central and Eastern Asia. The species is highly endangered, and though Bactrian camels are protected, the species is drawing dangerously close to extinction.  Roughly 800 to 900 Bactrian camels are thought to be left in the world, and may be found living in the Gobi desert in Mongolia and China.

Image via YouTube

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