Zoo Animals


Bactrian camel

Camelus bactrianus

At the Detroit Zoo
Female Suren and male Rusty (both born in 2008) their son, Humphrey, born in the spring of 2014, and their daughter, Rusi, born in the summer of 2017, can be seen roaming their habitat across from the Horace H. Rackham Memorial Fountain, along with the  fallow deer. Suren, whose name derives from the Mongolian word meaning ‘majestic’, arrived at the Detroit Zoo in 2008. Rusty arrived one year later.

Bactrian camels are well adapted to survive in a wide range of temperatures and climates. They have large feet which allows them to walk without sinking into sand. Two rows of long, thick eyelashes protect their eyes from blowing dust and debris, and slit-like nostrils can be closed during sandstorms. Bactrian camels stand about 7 feet tall at the humps and weigh up to 1,600 pounds at maturity. Contrary to popular belief, camels store fat – not water – in their humps, providing energy when food is limited. Bactrian camels are well-suited for Michigan’s climate and can survive in temperatures ranging from -20 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. On many days, there are more visitors at the Zoo than there are wild Bactrian camels in the world.


Fun Facts

  • The Bactrian camel has two humps, as opposed to the Dromedary camel which only has one hump.

  • The Bactrian camel is one of the most adaptive species in the world, able to survive in temperatures ranging from minus 20 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.