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Norfolk couple feed baby camel at home

PUBLISHED: 11:24 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:20 02 July 2010

Ray Smith from the Oasis Camel centre near Halesworth is having to hand rear a baby camel after it was rejected by its mother.

Ray Smith from the Oasis Camel centre near Halesworth is having to hand rear a baby camel after it was rejected by its mother.

Emily Dennis

He may have had a rough start in life, but this baby camel is thriving thanks to the round-the-clock efforts of his substitute mum and dad in Norfolk.

He may have had a rough start in life, but this baby camel is thriving thanks to the round-the-clock efforts of his substitute mum and dad.

The male Bactrian camel, which is nearly three weeks old, was rejected by his mother at birth and owners Ray and Cicely Smith feared that the fragile youngster would not survive.

But the couple, who run the Oasis Camel Centre, at Linstead, near Halesworth, managed to get enough milk from the mother to give the baby the vital boost he needed in his first few hours and have since been hand-rearing the new arrival with goats' milk.

They have already cleared the shelves of two local supermarkets and have to buy 12 or 14 litres at a time to keep the hungry youngster full.

The baby camel, which does not yet have a name, has to be bottle fed every two to three hours and drinks about 10 cartons of goats' milk a day.

Bactrian camels are a critically-endangered species with fewer than 1,000 left in the wild.

Mr Smith said: “I went into the camel shed and there he was lying in the straw, barely breathing. We certainly thought he was not going to make it, especially when we showed him to the mother and she started snapping at him.”

People visiting the centre can see the youngster being bottle fed each day and over the Easter holidays can enter a competition to pick his name.

For more information visit www.oasiscamelcentre.co.uk

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