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Baby camel born at Whatcom’s Camel Safari during windstorm

Qatar, a Bactrian camel at Camel Safari northeast of Bellingham, gave birth to a female calf during the windstorm on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. The baby camel, not yet named, was about 70 pounds at birth.
Qatar, a Bactrian camel at Camel Safari northeast of Bellingham, gave birth to a female calf during the windstorm on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. The baby camel, not yet named, was about 70 pounds at birth. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Camel Safari’s newest family member sure picked a wild time to arrive.

Qatar, a Bactrian camel, gave birth during the windstorm on Wednesday night, March 9, at Camel Safari reserve on 5435 Sand Road, east of Bellingham. The female calf, which doesn’t have an official name yet, was born at 10:47 p.m. and weighed about 70 pounds, said Ginger Widner, manager at the attraction.

Widner said they noticed Qatar showing signs of early labor around 8 a.m. Wednesday, so staff kept a close watch throughout the day. Around 9:30 p.m., watching via a camera in the barn, they noticed the first foot coming out. Widner and employee Madilyn White went to the barn and found the mother struggling to give birth on her own. Widner and White helped pull the calf out.

The calf showed signs of weakness, so Widner and White stayed throughout the night to make sure she was able to stand and nurse.

While this was going on, the wind was howling outside and Widner was concerned they would lose power. Whatcom County was slammed by winds that reached 67 mph at the Bellingham airport and were recorded as high as 81 mph north of the city.

Even though many neighbors around Camel Safari lost power, the animal reserve never did.

“It was somewhat of a miracle,” Widner said in an email.

While the baby doesn’t have an official name yet, staff affectionately nicknamed her “Tumble-ina” because she was a bit clumsy in the hours after being born. By Friday, March 11, Widner said she was “quite a pro,” walking around and nursing.

“We are very excited about this new addition to the farm. Breeding camels is a very tricky and difficult process,” Widner said, adding that it is the third calf born at Camel Safari.

Visitors to Camel Safari will be able to see the baby, Widner said. They will discover that baby camels are born without humps, which fill as the calf receives excess fat and nutrition, she said.

Details about the business can be found at camelsafari.com.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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