Bactrian Camel

Basic Information:

Scientific Name: Camelus bactrianus

Habitat: Bactrian camels can be found in the steppes and deserts of Northeast Asia (particularly the Gobi desert of Northern China and Southern Mongolia).

Diet: Bactrian camels eat leaves, grasses, and shrubs. 

Size: 5.2 to 5.9 feet tall / 10 to 11.5 feet long

Weight: 660 to 2,000 pounds

Lifespan: 17.8 years according to AZA Species Survival Statistics

Distribution Map:

I.U.C.N. Conservation Status:

What does this mean?

Critically Endangered – a species determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) to possess an extremely high risk of extinction as a result of rapid population declines of 80 to more than 90 percent over the previous 10 years (or three generations), a current population size of fewer than 50 individuals, or other factors (such as severely fragmented populations, long generation times, or isolated habitats).

Our Bactrian Camels

Najla (Female) – Born May 30, 2005

Furlow (Male) – Born February 26, 2010

About Bactrian Camels:

The 2 humped Bactrian Camels, unlike the single humped Arabian Dromedary Camels, are a critically endangered species with the only remaining wild camels existing in small herds in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China. Bactrian Camels store fat in their humps – like many other humped animals – which is then converted to water and energy when sustenance is not available.  Today, there are thought to be fewer than 400 Bactrian Camels left in the wild.

Did You Know?!

  • A very thirsty Bactrian camel can drink 30 gallons of water in only 13 minutes.
  • Baby Bactrian camels are born with their eyes open and can run when they are only a few hours old!
  • A Bactrian camel’s hump hold fat, not water, and helps sustain them when food and water are scarce. 
  • Bactrian camels look very different in winter than in summer. In winter, they grow a long fur coat to help protect them from the cold. They shed their coats in spring to stay cool in summer.
  • Due to the fluctuating temperatures of their natural habitat in Northen Asia including the Gobi desert, Bactrian camels can survive in temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius and as low as -30 degrees Celsius!

The Utica Zoo is closed for Thanksgiving (11/23)! Happy Thanksgiving from all of our staff and animals!

The Zoo will re-open on 11/24 at 10 am.