Some of you know that I enjoy writing silly, children’s poems. As I am writing a series of picture books about endangered species, I thought it could be fun to try and write a short poem about each of my animals. Today’s is dedicated to my Bactrian camel character, named Nokor (Mongolian for ‘friend’).
“One hump or two?”
the nomad asked.
“The Bactrian’s bi,” it replied.
“The Dromedary’s one
just aint half as much fun,
we’ve double the bump when you ride!”
The only truly wild camels that still exist are Bactrian camels. These herds survive in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China, but number less than 600! They are critically endangered in the wild. They prefer a plant diet, but when unavailable, these highly adaptable animals will feed on bones and in very extreme conditions, have been known to eat rope, sandals and tents. Imagine chewing the canvas cud for 12 hours! They have a double layer of lovely, long eyelashes to protect their eyes from sand and ice. It is true that when threatened, like the Dromedary, they can kick or spit (remember Captain Haddock’s experience in Tintin?). I had a lot of fun creating a story about these hardy animals that survive in summer temperatures of up to 40°C(104°F) and in winter down to -20°C(-4°F). Let’s hope that their adaptability and our conscience can prevent this animal’s extinction!
A fun National Geographic Kids video on the Bactrian Camel.