Its often dogs who make incredible journeys to track down their human families. But now a homesick camel has made an arduous 100km trek through the Mongolian desert to find its former owners.
The couple who had owned the camel had decided to sell it to a herdsman.
But after about eight months at its new home, the camel decided it was time to return to its original owners.
And so began a grueling week-long trip across the desert. Eventually, the old camel was discovered – covered in scars and exhausted – by another herdsman.
The scars are thought to be from sharp fences. The tenacious animal would also have had to avoid some busy highways during its journey.
Happy reunion for the loyal camel
The good news was that the herdsman who found the wandering camel was able to locate its former owners.
And so touched were they by the camel’s loyalty that they decided to keep it. The herdsman they had sold it to was reimbursed with another camel.
The animal was even given a Hada, a traditional Mongolian ceremonial scarf, signifying its place in the family.
Wild populations of Bactrian camels exist in Mongolia’s Gobi desert. As temperatures vary from over 100°F in summer to –20°F in winter, the camels have adapted by growing a long shaggy coat which they shed in summer.
Bactrians barely sweat, which assists them in conserving fluids for longer. During winter, they can salvage enough moisture from plants to survive without water for up to several weeks.
Camels are highly valued in Mongolia and very much part of the culture. They are used for transportation and can carry up to 250kg on their backs and make journeys of nearly 50km per day. Their wool is used for rope and for clothing and they also provide milk.
Image Credits: Bayan Nur Daily