DROMEDARY CAMEL (camelus dromedarius)
Habitat: North Africa, Middle East
Height: 6-8 feet at hump
Weight: 1000 - 1500 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years in the wild - 25 to 40 years in zoo conditions.
Gestation: 390 to 410 days
Camels originally came from North America and spread to other continents. It became extinct in North America about 2 million years ago. The domesticated camel provides food, clothing and transportation to people of the Middle East. The camels hump is composed of fatty tissue and not for water storage, as is commonly believed. A camel has the ability to go without water for many days and completely hydrate itself when given the opportunity to drink, consuming as much as 30 gallons at a time. Browse, leaves, shrubs, cactus, bark and grasses are the camel's natural food items in the wild. Our camels at the Natural Bridge Zoo enjoy their daily selection of grain and fine quality hay. Our camels can be seen at location attractions, commercials and Christmas Naivety Scenes all over the country.