14 September 2023

Wagga Zoo welcomes a couple of camels

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Wagga Zoo and Aviary part-time curator Hannah Wilkin and zoo curator Wendy McNamara with Dune Buggy and Safari.

Wagga Zoo and Aviary part-time curator Hannah Wilkin and zoo curator Wendy McNamara with Dune Buggy and Safari. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Two male dromedary camels now call Wagga Wagga Zoo and Aviary home.

Two-year-olds ‘Dune Buggy’ and ‘Safari’ were recently welcomed into the zoo and have settled well into their enclosure.

Dromedary camels have one single hump and are typically brown or sandy in colour. Dune Buggy is bigger with a coloured coat, while Safari is smaller with a darker coat.

The new residents came from The Camel Milk Co, the camel dairy based in Kyabram, Victoria.

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Wagga Zoo curator Wendy McNamara said the zoo family was excited to have their new members, as getting them to Wagga had been in the pipeline for some time.

“For them to have arrived and settled in well is exciting for all of us here,” Wendy said. “We wanted to make sure everything was ready for their arrival … they travelled quite the distance, and we ensured they were as comfortable as possible when they arrived.

“Their personalities are starting to come out, and they’re quite cuddly,” Wendy said.

“These guys love eating a lot. They get hay every day, and we use fresh cut grass as treats for training.

Wendy said the young residents were still classified as babies and were expected to live up to the age of 50.

“They are going to be here for a long time,” she said.

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“We are working on their training … hopefully we’ll be able to get up and close and personal with the public very soon.”

The curator said the zoo had a variety of local and non-local animals, and the camels added to the zoo experience.

“Camels are fascinating animals that are very resilient and stubborn,” Wendy said.

“They love to scratch themselves, and you often catch them rolling on their backs in the dirt or sand or rubbing against a tree.”

Dune Buggy and Safari are located near the alpaca and deer enclosures.

The zoo and aviary are located inside Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens and are open Thursday to Monday from 9 am to 4 pm (no entry after 3:45 pm).

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