Lottie the camel is the animal kingdom’s supermum. The nine-year-old Bactrian Camel is juggling the job of looking after her new born as well as adopting her daughter’s calf.
Her calm approach to the tiring tasks has amazed staff at the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which celebrated the birth of the two camel calves on the 2nd of March. Lottie’s daughter Gucci was the first to give birth but was a reluctant first time mum and did not want to look after her calf. A few hours later, Lottie’s own calf was born and the animal team at the Park saw an opportunity to try and encourage Lottie to foster the rejected calf.
“She is looking after two calves and is doing an incredible job,” said Simon Marsh, Animal Collections Manager of the 100-acre park at Branton, near Doncaster. “It’s a tough job but she takes it all in her stride so she deserves a special treat this Mothers’ Day. Gucci just didn’t take to looking after her calf and for a couple of days rangers were supplementing the calf with bottles of milk but it wasn’t long before supermum Lottie took over completely.” Simon Marsh, Animal Collections Manager
The calves make for a unique four generations of camels who live on the African Reserve at the innovative park, which is the UK’s No. 1 walkthrough wildlife adventure.
Grandmother Whipsnade is on hand to help out but Lottie is the driving force behind making sure the new arrivals are looked after while dad Baxter looks on.
“We’ve got a lot of mothers as we now have four generations of camels so there’s a lot to celebrate,” added Simon Marsh.
“It is fantastic to welcome the new calves and see that they and their mums are doing well.
“The calves sleep a lot but once they are up they have started being playful and are bouncing around like baby camels do. The two youngsters have been names Julius and Jeremiah.”Simon Marsh, Animal Collections Manager
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation, which is based at YWP, is busy fundraising to support work by the Wild Camel Foundation and other projects to protect the species.
The two new borns, now four weeks old, are a domestic strain of the critically endangered Bactrian camels whose numbers have dwindled to below 1,000 in their native Gobi Desert, in Asia.
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