7 May 2024

A fluffy camel calf has been born at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, for the first time in eight years.

The baby, named Sally, was born to 12-year-old mum Izzy and four-year-old dad Oakley, in the early hours of April 11, after a 13-month pregnancy.  

Whipsnade Camel keeper George Spooner said: “Despite their reputation for being grumpy, camels are actually very patient, nurturing parents and it’s been great for us to see first-time mum Izzy attentively caring for her newborn daughter."

George explained that the baby camel began walking, quite wobbly, within hours of being born. 

“Sally has very long, gangly legs which she’s still getting to grips with. Visitors can spot her following her Mum and Dad around her vast paddock, getting to know her family,” he said,  
 

Baby camel standing infront of her mother, looking to the right
© Whipsnade Zoo
Baby camel standing infront of her mother. Making eye contact. On grassy paddock.
© Whipsnade Zoo
Baby camel born at Whipsnade Zoo

Whipsnade Zoo’s domestic Bactrian camels act as an ambassador species for their critically endangered ‘cousins’ the wild camel (Camelus ferus) in Mongolia and China.  

“There are only 950 wild camels left in the deserts of Mongolia and China today, due to hunting, water scarcity and predation by the grey wolf,” George said.

ZSL, the conservation charity behind Whipsnade Zoo, is working to protect Mongolia’s wildlife, including the Gobi Desert in the south, where it’s believed there’s only 450 wild camels.  

“ZSL is closely involved in the wild camel project, working with conservation partners to contribute towards to scientific evidence which will inform a management plan for these critically endangered animals,” George said.  

If you treat your herd to a family membership, you’ll have already got your money’s worth around your second visit, and made tons of new memories too!

*Based on the average zoo admission prices for one or two adults with two children in relation to the family membership Direct Debit fee.

Animals at the Zoo

  • Asian elephant at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
    Elephas maximus

    Asian elephant

    Asian elephants are more closely related to the extinct woolly mammoth than to the African elephant.

  • Amur tiger at Whipsnade Zoo
    Panthera tigris altaica

    Amur tiger

    The largest and heaviest of the world’s big cats, as well as the heaviest, by the 1940s, fewer than 40 Amur tigers were thought to remain in the wild

  • Chimps eating at Whipsnade Zoo
    Pan troglodytes

    Chimpanzee

    Chimps are more closely related to humans than gorillas, and you can watch our chimps regularly use tools at the Zoo.

  • Ruby the red panda in a tree at Whipsnade Zoo
    Ailurus fulgens

    Red panda

    A red panda's diet mainly consists of bamboo, and they have thick fur to protect them from their rainy, mountainous habitat in the Himalayas

  • Ricky the rockhopper penguin at Whipsnade Zoo
    Eudyptes moseleyi

    Rockhopper penguin

    These small penguins pack in a big personality, and Ricky the rockhopper penguin is one of our most famous animals.