Minnesota Zoo Media Contact

If you are a member of the press, please contact:Kelly Lessard
Public Relations
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
952.431.9217 direct
952.431.9300 fax
kelly.lessard@state.mn.us

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Apple Valley, MINN – April 21, 2014 – Spring has finally arrived at the Minnesota Zoo, and that means animal babies! A male Bactrian camel calf, the first of 2014, is now on exhibit on the Northern Trail.

Born March 24 weighing 96 pounds, the calf – named “Forrest” – has been busy testing out the exhibit with his mother, “Jenny.” Camels usually gain approximately two pounds per day, and will reach adult size (1600–1800 pounds and eight feet tall) in 3-4 years.  Forest weighs approximately 150 pounds currently.

The gestation period for Bactrian camels is just over one year. Calves nurse for a full year, are independent at age four, and fully mature at age five. A few Bactrian camels remain in the wild in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, but most have been domesticated. Geologically, camels evolved in North America and migrated to Asia two million years ago across the Bering land bridge. In the wild, they are quite shy. They usually congregate in small herds of up to six individuals (one male). They can withstand extreme temperatures and reportedly are good swimmers. They can drink as much as 15 gallons of water at one time and have excellent stamina. In the wild, they will eat practically any vegetation that grows in their arid environment. In captivity, grass hay, mixed grain and vitamin-mineral supplements are provided (about 13-17.5 pounds daily). Life expectancy for Bactrian camels in captivity can be up to 20 years.

The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).