Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, the Life Patron of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation has published a remarkable blog post on her Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) website. JGI works in over 28 countries all over the world, raising awareness among schoolchildren on all aspects of environmental degradation.
Its mission is to promote understanding and protection of great apes and their habitat and to build on the legacy of Dr. Jane Goodall, their founder, to inspire individual action by young people of all ages to help animals, other people and to protect the world we share. “We strive to respect, nourish and protect all living things; people, animals and the environment are all interconnected. We believe that knowledge leads to understanding, and that understanding will encourage us to take action. We believe that every individual has the ability to make a positive difference. We believe that flexibility and open-mindedness are essential to enable us to respond to a changing world.”
During the few weeks I get to spend at home in England, a slight pause in my endless travels when I hope to catch up with what used to be called paperwork but now, I suppose, should be e-work – I am not usually thrilled to be interrupted by the ring of the telephone. But when I reached for the receiver and heard the distinctive voice of John Hare on the other end of the line, I was thrilled. John had just returned from Mongolia where he goes every August to see how things are going with the work of his organisation, the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF)
I well remember when first I met him, and he told me about his project to save the wild Bactrian Camel in the wilderness of the Gobi Desert. His idea was crazy, and I have always been attracted to crazy, imaginative and passionate people. John is all three. That meeting led to the chapter on John and his work in my book, Hope for Animals and Their World. That was written in 2008, and much has happened since then […]
TO FIND OUT JUST WHAT HAS HAPPENED, PLEASE GO TO:
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Between September 25th and September 27th 2015, six young wild camel males, bred at the Wild Camel Protection Foundation’s Hunter Hall Wild Camel Breeding Centre near Bayan Tooroi, were released at two separate springs in the Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area “A”. The British Ambassador to Mongolia, Catherine Arnold, witnessed the release and was delighted with the outcome. Four wild camels were taken in a truck to Sharhuls Spring and two were taken to Bogd Tsagaanders, about 250 kms and 300kms from Bayan Tooroi. Four of the camels were fitted with satellite collars kindly donated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Remote Sensing Unit) and Professor Liu Shaochuang from the CAS helped to fit them to the wild camels.
The release was a complete success and the four which were collared will be monitored on a regular basis. It is essential that young mature males are released before the start of the breeding season in November otherwise a huge amount of damage is done to property, humans and other wild camels when the young camels fight the alpha male for control of the captive females. In 2013 a camera photo yielded an amazing picture of a released camel which had attracted a mini herd of three wild females.
We are hopeful that the same happy outcome might reoccur thereby putting fresh blood into the wild herds in the Gobi.
Before the release, the six camels had been vaccinated against parasites and rabies and had all been tested to ensure they were all genetically pure. We await the outcome of this successful release with great interest.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park and the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in the United Kingdom provided funding for the release and to both organisations, the Wild Camel Protection Foundation is extremely grateful.
Anna Jemmett BSc Hons, the WCPF’s communications manager, has written a report on the release which follows after these photographs.
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The three educational booklets: 1. Why the Wild Camel is Critically Endangered, 2. The Wild Camel Breeding Centre in Mongolia and 3. How the Camel got its Hump, published recently by the WCPF are being used extensively in schools bordering the Lop Nur Wild Camel Nature Reserve in Xinjiang, China and the Strictly Protected Area Gobi “A” in Mongolia which is the prime wild camel habitat in both countries.
Thanks to the generosity of the Xinjiang Environmental Protection Bureau in China and the Cotswold Wildlife Park and the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in England, sets of the three booklets have been translated and published in Chinese and Mongolian. They are also published in Kazakh and Uighyur thanks again to the Xinjiang Environmental Protection Bureau.
The accompanying photos show graphically the enthusiasm of the school children in both countries for these booklets.
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“War” Camel (Gobi) made a surprise appearance at the Royal Geographical Society, London on Tuesday, 23rd November 2014. The evening was organised by Transglobe Environmental Trust (TET) who have twice supported John Hare’s expeditions into the Desert of Lop in China to research the wild camel on behalf of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation.
The evening was a huge success with first-rate speakers including Ed Stafford, Ben Fogle, Robin Hanbury-Tenison and David and Katherine Lowrie speaking to a packed house of over 800. John Hare gave a presentation and a great deal of valuable publicity was gained for WCPF and the wild camel.
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John Hare made a visit to Zakhyn Us in September 2014 where he assisted a French TV crew in the making of a television documentary and distributed three children’s books, translated into Mongolian, concerning wild camel protection to local schools.
He also checked on the purchase of winter hay for the captive wild camels and the replacement of wooden fence poles with permanent metal ones surrounding the newly enlarged breeding centre which now covers 100 acres.
The Mongolian Ministry of Nature and the Environment awarded him a medal for outstanding contributions to wild camel protection
1. Part of the 2014/15 winter hay at the Wild Camel Breeding Centre at Zakhyn Us, Mongolia. We are fund-raising to purchase the full requirement.
2. The distribution of three booklets on the wild camel for Mongolian school children recently translated by WCPF into Mongolian
3. French TV personnel making a TV documentary about the wild camel
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The Camel Race Day at Hole Park Rolvenden, Kent, UK on 7th September 2014 was a great success. In superlative weather, almost 5,000 people attended the event and witnessed Mongolian wrestling, throat singing and a musical programme by the group, “Nomadic Tune”. A display by “War” Camel, a life-size camel puppet designed by one of the designers of War Horse and built by sculptress, Louise Thomas, delighted the onlookers. So much so that it was called on to make a second appearance. The Mongolian Ambassador, to the United Kingdom attended together with many officials from the Mongolian Embassy.
Six races were undertaken on Joseph’s Amazing Camels, a mixture of Dromedaries and Bactrians, and were all keenly contested. No one fell off and the large crowd thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle. All the funds raised will be put toward buying hay for the captive wild camels at the Hunter Hall Wild Camel Breeding Centre in Mongolia, the only country apart from China where the wild camel is kept in captivity.
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Talented sculptress Louise Thomas with the help of a designer from the famous stage production of War Horse is creating a “War Camel” puppet for us for our fund-raising Camel Race Day on 7th September at Hole Park, Kent. See the two brilliantly conceived designs. Who knows? Our “war camel” may defeat the real racing camels and be first past the winning post.
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An International Wild Camel Protection and Research Centre has been built 200 kilometers from Dun Huang in Gansu Province. This initiative has been supported by Professor Liu Shaochang of the Institute of Remote Sensing, Chinese Academy of Sciences and will serve as an international forum for scientists and wild camel experts. A growing threat to the wild camel in its heartland, the Aqike Valley, is the growing number of Chinese tourists who enter the desert and do not stick to recognised tracks. The Centre also serves as a check-point to stop tourists who have not paid the required fee from entering the desert.
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On September 20th 2013, the first release took place of wild camels back into the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Two adult bull camels were released at Bogts Tsagaan Ders water point in the Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area ‘A’, the habitat of the wild camel in Mongolia. Before the release the two bull camels were collared for remote sensing by Professor Liu Shaochuang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Remote Sensing. This cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences is to be greatly welcomed and is a positive result of the initiative in 2000 by the WCPF in obtaining a Letter of Intent from both the Mongolian and Chinese governments to work jointly to protect the critically endangered wild camel.
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