The Idaho Falls Zoo had a surprise birth over the holidays: an adorable female Bactrian camel, born on Nov. 16. She’s now about two-and-a-half months old, and is growing splendidly well. In honor of Star Wars, the zoo staff have named her ZooBacca. Adorbs, love it.
The zoo staff were unaware their camel was even pregnant when the baby suddenly started to come. On the day of her birth, a zookeeper noticed the adult female behaving a bit differently.
“I told the keeper that she was displaying calving behavior, but since she and the bull were so young that seemed unlikely. Needless to say, we were all pleasantly surprised a short time later,” interim Zoo Superintendent Linda Beard said.
A veterinarian was notified that same day, and a short while later Beard along with the animal doctor delivered the baby camel.
In the wild, camels are able to reproduce by the age of five, and a Bactrian camel is pregnant for 13 months. Mom, who is named Zazu, came to the Idaho Falls Zoo as a bottle-raised newborn in 2011 and was just 4 ½ at the time of the birth of the calf. Dad, who is called Gobi, is not quite 4 years old right now and came to the zoo at 2 ½ years of age, almost exactly 13 months prior to the birth of the new calf.
“Some may ask how that is possible at such an early age. In captivity, camels can reach sexual maturity earlier as they have access to a plentiful food supply and receive excellent animal care,” explains Beard.
The exhibit will officially open April 9., and zoo staff is also planning to do something for baby ZooBacca on May 4., Star Wars day.
Happy Humpday (^_^)