Albino animals stand out from the pack because their partial or complete loss of pigmentation makes them much lighter in color compared to the other members of their species. Although they are very rare, they have been spotted in the wild around the world. Over the years, there have been sightings of albino turtles, seals, and even reindeer. Recently, a rare sighting of an albino camel was caught on film. Those who saw it believe that it may be the only of its kind in the world.
A Rare Albino Camel
Staff at the Annanba Wild Camel National Nature Reserve in northwest China’s Gansu province caught the animal on camera. It was drinking from a puddle, standing amongst a dozen other brown camels.
According to staff member Zhou Yongxiang, the rare albino animal is a Bactrian camel, which normally has brown skin and fur. Currently, the camels are in the middle of their shedding season, so the staff at the reserve are not sure if the camel’s fur will remain white once it grows out .
Bactrian camels are the only true wild camels in existence. Native to the steppes of Central Asia, they have two humps on their back. This is different from the Arabian camel, which only has one.
These camels are very large, and can reach a height of over two meters tall and nearly four meters long. They can weigh anywhere from three hundred to almost seven hundred kilograms. Despite the fact that they live in very hot areas, they have minimal sweat glands. Their bodies can tolerate a six degree increase in internal temperature before they begin sweating. This helps them retain water.
The average life expectancy of a Bactrian camel is about thirty years, however they can live to be up to fifty years old. They don’t have many natural predators, however sometimes leopards and wolves can be found closeby in colder regions in Asia. Because of their large size, they are not these animals’ primary target.
Currently, wild Bactrian camels are a critically endangered species. The domesticated version, which differs significantly genetically, is not included in that group.
Experts believe wild Bactrian camel populations will decrease by more than eighty percent within the next three generations. The subpopulation in Mongolia has lost nearly half of its population since 1985.
Efforts to protect the population focus on isolating herds in China and Mongolia so that they don’t breed with domestic animals .
A One-of-a-Kind Camel
The staff at the National Reserve believe this camel is the only of its kind in the world . The Annanba Reserve is home to one third of the total population of wild camels in China. To see the footage of this incredible creature, click here.