What to know about two humped Bactrian Camel? What it is interesting about Bactrian Camel?
Mongolia is home to the largest number of two humped Bactrian camel in the World. Both the domestic Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) and Wild Bactrian Camel (Camelus ferus) or Havtgai spread across southern par of Mongolia, specifically in the Gobi Desert.
Wild Bactrian camel is critically endangered species and inhibit in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia and Taklamakan Desert, China. In Mongolia, the Great Gobi National Park is home to some 700 wild camels, while you can spot a captive Wild Camel in Zagiin Us Reserve near Mt Eej in Gobi- Altai province, south western Mongolia.
Camels are well adapted Gobi’s arid harsh climate where temperatures fluctuate between +48C to – 35C. Vegetation is sparse and water is scarce; the Gobi genuinely challenges survival of both domestic and wild Bactrian Camels. Camel, therefore, can drink 135 liters of water easily and live without water up to a month. In the past, camels played major role in the transport along the Silk Road and the Tea road between Asia and Europe. Nowadays, Mongolian nomads still use camels as a pack animal for their seasonal migration.
In rural Mongolia, especially in arid places, camel milk is a local delicacy. Camel wool is particularly important for Mongolian culture in which camel wool threads are used for sowing felt carpets and stitching of trims of felt covers for a nomadic dwelling, ger. Nowadays, baby camel wool is considered as valuable as cashmere to produce luxury garment and clothing. Mongolian producers of Gobi, Goyo and Buyan manufacture luxury camel wool textiles and outfits.
Camel milk has medicinal qualities and also rare threat. Camels lactate up to two years and give a birth once every two years. Kidney problems and swollen parts of human body are treated via drinking fermented camel milk. During its mating season in December-January, when weather is extremely cold in Mongolia, camel gets extremely self-defensive and aggressive. Therefore, nomads hung red cotton flower on the camel’s fore-head as a warning of aggressive camel that might attack other people.
There were 895.3 thousand domestic camels in Mongolia in 1954. Currently, there are 367,000 domestic Bactrian Camels while Umnugovi province has the largest number of camels (118.6 thousand) followed by Bayankhongor (44.5 thousand) and Dornogovi (36.03 thousand) provinces in Mongolia. No wonder why Umnugovi province hosted the largest camel race in the world covering 1,108 participants on 7 March 2015 during the annual Thousand Camel Festival. The Guinness Record Holding event was organised by the Administrative Office the Umnugovi province. Due to decreased number of camels since 1954, camel festivals are organised in Mongolia to promote camel culture and to facilitate nomadic herders to increase their camel herd.
During the camel race some camels from Bayanhongor province were barred of racing. Since these were believed to be hybrid breed between Domestic Bactrian Camel and Wild Bactrian Camel. These hybrid camels look slimmer and with longer legs in comparison to domestic camels. They can be the fastest of all and can be ideal for racing.