Mother Welcomes Son "Kix" to the Herd
One mother at the ABQ Biopark Zoo has a new long-legged reason to celebrate this Mother's Day--Betty, a Bactrian camel, gave birth to a male named Kix on April 28, 2012. Kix and Betty can be seen for several hours each day in the camel exhibit near the elephants.
The mother, Betty, has been at the Zoo for 13 years, and the father, Wilson, has been here for 16 years. They have had several other calves, including Kashi, a female born around this time last year.
"Kix is delightful-he is full of energy, kicking and jumping when he plays," said Rhonda Saiers, Hoofstock Supervisor. "His coat is an unusual color. He is probably the darkest in the herd."
For Mother's Day on Sunday, BioPark visitors can also enjoy a Bonsai Show at the Botanic Garden (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and Mother's Day Brunch at the Aquarium's Shark Reef Cafe. At the Zoo, International Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and the NM Philharmonic Mother's Day Concert begins at 2 p.m. Except for brunch, all activities are included with regular admission.
While common in captivity, Bactrian camels, Camelus bactrianus bactrianus, are endangered in the wild. These herds, also known as caravans, live in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China. There are fewer than 1,000 surviving wild camels. The Chinese government established a nature sanctuary to protect wild camels from hunters.
Bactrian camels have two humps, as opposed to dromedary camels, their Arabian relatives with one hump. Camel humps store fat that can be converted to water and energy when sustenance is not available. These reserves help camels survive in harsh desert habitats, where temperatures can range from frigid (-40○F) to scorching (122○F). Other adaptations include shaggy protective coats, long eyelashes, broad footpads, and the ability to drink saltwater.