Baby Camel Reunited With Mum

Our “glorious” surprise baby camel has now been reunited with mum!

A few weeks ago we were surprised by the arrival of a baby Bactrian camel, a boy born to mum Delilah! Didn’t you know she was pregnant we hear you say? Well no actually! Delilah joined us from another zoo thirteen months previously and the gestation period of a camel is 14 months so her previous keepers, nor ours, were aware she was pregnant. Our male camel, James, has been castrated so we didn’t think pregnancy was on the cards and as she’s a young camel we hadn’t though anything of her growth.

baby bactrian camel

Cletus at a few days old in the warmth of our heated giraffe house

“Cletus, named after the Greek for Glory/Glorious, certainly was a glorious surprise when our keepers arrived that morning. He was literally the last thing any of us expected to find! Unfortunately, because he was a big baby and struggled in the first 12 hours to get to his feet to feed from Delilah, we had to take the difficult decision to hand rear him with bottled milk and move him to a heated enclosure with our giraffes to ensure his overnight survival. It’s never an easy decision to separate a baby from it’s mum but it was the only decision to ensure the survival of this critically-endangered species and was backed by our keeping team who volunteered to take it in turns to do the night feeds!” – Tim Morphew, zoo curator
baby camel being reunited with its mum

Reunited with mum!

A couple of weeks on our keepers were confident Cletus was strong enough to move back outside to be reunited with his mum Delilah and step-dad James and so an emergency zoo build commenced to create a mini-enclosure for him to sit within the camel enclosure. This temporary measure means Cletus can socialise with Delilah and James through the fence and get used to being a camel but crucially means the keepers can continue to bottle feed him as they can’t safely go in with the adult camels.

baby camel being bottlefed

Delilah keeping a watchful eye on baby Cletus!

baby bactrian camel

Peekaboo! Yes we see you Cletus. You’re’ cute.

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We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.