Bactrian Camel

(Camelus ferus)




Facts about this animal

The Bactrian camel is unmistakable due to the two humps on its back, which essentially consist of lipid tissue. It is a very large animal with a body length of about 300 cm, a height (at the humps) of up to 230 cm, and a body-weight of up to 1000 kg. The face is long and somewhat triangular, with a split, hairy upper lip. The nostrils can be sealed to keep out dust in the frequent sandstorms which occur in the camel’s arid habitat. The tail is about 50 cm long. The two broad toes on each foot have undivided soles and are able to spread widely as an adaptation to walking on sand.

The long, wooly coat varies in colour from dark brown to sandy beige. There is a mane and beard of long hair on the neck and throat, with hairs up to 25 cm long. The shaggy winter coat is shed extremely rapidly, with huge sections peeling off at once, almost as if it were shorn off.

Did you know?
that camels do not really spit? It?s more like throwing up! They bring up the contents of their stomachs, along with saliva, and project it out. This is meant to surprise, distract, or bother whatever the camel feels is threatening it.


Name (Scientific) Camelus ferus
Name (English) Bactrian Camel
Name (French) Chameau de Bactriane
Name (German) Trampeltier
Name (Spanish) Camello Bactriano
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Appendix I



Photo Copyright by
Michael Pereckas



Range China, Mongolia
Habitat Arid and sparsely vegetated Deserts where habitat ranges from rocky mountainous regions to plains and high sand dunes
Wild population China: 600 ; Mongolia: 350 (2004) (IUCN Red List 211)
Zoo population 624 reported to ISIS - all domesticated specimens

In the Zoo

Bactrian Camel


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 2 or 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Adrian Pingstone

Why do zoos keep this animal

All camels in zoos outside the species' range states belong to the domesticated form.

Camels are of major educational interest because of their adaptation to cold aridland conditions. They are also a good flagship species for conservation efforts as may be undertaken under the CMS' Central Eurasian Aridland Concerted Action.

Female camels and foals are fairly docile animals allowing for close encounters for creating a positive human-animal relationship.