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Wild Camel

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Friday, September 12th, 2014

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.

Camel Race Day

Camel Race Day

Camel Race Day

Camel Race Day

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014

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.

War Camel in the making

War Camel in the making

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Monday, December 2nd, 2013

One of the wild bull camels released in September has been spotted by a ranger together with 4 wild female camels. He is showing signs of “rutting” behaviour as it is the beginning of the wild camel breeding season. This news that he has survived the release from our breeding centre at Zakhyn Us and gathered round him a small harem of female camels is excellent news.

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Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

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.



Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

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.



Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Jane McMorland Hunter, a Patron of the WCPF, is running once again to raise money for the wild camels. This time it is: The Edinburgh Coast Run on Sunday 26th May 2013.

Quote from Jane, ‘I shall be wearing a Wild Camel running shirt and may run with a toy camel – it all depends how well the toy’s training goes, so far, mine is going better!’
Please support Jane. All donations can be made by pressing the DONATE button on the HOME page and donating through Paypal or send a cheque made out to the Wild Camel Protection Foundation and post to:

Jane McMorland Hunter, 19 Varna Road, London SW6 7LB, United Kingdom.

All the money Jane raises goes to support the wild camels.

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GOLDEN JOURNEY- camels raise funds for wild camels at the Opera House

Monday, February 4th, 2013

On Sunday 27th January 2013, at the Linbury Theatre (Royal Opera House, London) a performance was enacted of the Golden Journey – a dramatised history of the Silk Road – in aid of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation. It was presented in front of a full house, who experienced beautifully narrated historical dramas relating how silk was smuggled out of China and the incredible real life stories of Xuan Zang, Ghengis Khan, Kubla Khan and Marco Polo.

The finale recounted the story of the WCPF’s mission to save the critically endangered wild camel from extinction and some of John Hare’s hazardous adventures in the Chinese Gobi, which culminated in the establishment of the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve in Xinjiang Province, China.

However, the real stars of the evening were the Countess of Chichester’s two Bactrian camels, Therese and Temujin who had travelled all the way from Salisbury and stole the show with their impeccable on-stage behaviour. A full house thoroughly appreciated the production, which was devised and written by the Countess of Chichester, (WCPF patron), who was the source and inspiration behind the evening’s great success. The co-producer was the highly efficient Danny Wyler.

The many distinguished narrators and actors, the dancers, musicians, the production staff and all the stage hands gave their time and effort completely free. Rio Tinto, whose ethical mining policy is supporting wildlife and environmental protection both in Mongolia and China, generously co-sponsored the production. The evening, which included a Chinese banquet, was a great success and raised much needed funds for the WCPF.

WCPF sends a huge vote of thanks to all who were involved.

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GOLDEN JOURNEY – Legends of the Silk Road.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

On Sunday Evening, 27th January, 2013 in The Linbury Theatre at The Royal Opera House, London we will  travel to far away places, through time, on a Golden Journey.

Creating an atmosphere that evokes its colourful past, this Golden Journey takes us through the centuries along the fabled Silk Road. Celebrated actors, in the age-old tradition of that route, will tell us stories; legends and histories that bring us exotic characters, redolent of romance, of bravery and of adventure, enhanced by authentic, haunting music and mesmerising dance. At times beautiful live animals will grace the stage as we follow the fascinating road from its distant past until today.

The Golden Journey is being performed to help the Wild Camel Protection Foundation. The critically endangered Wild Camel has managed to survive and overcome insuperable odds through courage and ingenuity.

The mysteries of his survival and the safe guarding of his environment are vitally important to mankind. 

The WCPF not only protects this animal but has initiated a vital educational programme with the Chinese and Mongolian Governments to educate the people bordering the desert so they understand the importance of sustaining their unique eco-system – the habitat of the Wild Camel.

After the journey, and still in the Royal Opera House, there will be a superb Chinese dinner. 




TELEPHONE:   00 44(0)1722 782210 

EMAIL:  goldenjourney@jchich.co.uk

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John Hare’s visit to CHINA and MONGOLIA October 2012

Friday, November 16th, 2012

I visited Mongolia and China for three weeks in October 2012. I travelled to the Hunter Hall Wild Camel Breeding Centre in Mongolia and found the captive wild camels to be in excellent condition. The whole area had been cleaned of droppings, the fence had been repaired, a new building for accommodation and meetings had been well constructed and the whole area looked to be under sound management. This is a tribute to Mijjidorj, the former director of Gobi Specially Protected Area “A” which is adjacent to the Centre and his successor Gotov. The new management structure is clearly a vast improvement on the old.

In China I had discussions with WCPF Trustee, Yuan Lei and the staff at the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve about the wild camel educational programme, which they fully support. We are now waiting their costings for the educational materials in Chinese, Kazakh, Mongolian and Uighur.  Unfortunately, we were not successful in our application to Prince Albert’s Fund for additional funding for our education programme for adults and children living in proximity to the wild camel reserves in China and Mongolia. We do have $10,000 from the Mohammed bin Zayed Trust and I have written with the Chinese National Nature Reserve management staff material for four DVD’s and booklets which the Reserve Head office in China is now costing to print and produce locally. The more funding we obtain, the greater the impact will be in both China and Mongolia. Given these countries are now doing well economically we are keen to encourage locals stewardship and support for the wild camels through in-country education remembering that is also very important as development, especially mining, is rampant in both countries and has a negative impact on the wild camel habitat.

In Beijing I met the Professor Liu, the Chinese Director of the Remote Sensing Unit of the Chinese Academy of Sciences who has offered to collar and fund the wild camel release programme in Mongolia. He has already collared and successfully released nine camels in the Chinese Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve and his generous proposal is fully in accord with the Letter of Intent, signed by both Chinese and Mongolian environment vice Ministers in 2000 at a workshop in Beijing organised by the WCPF. I put the proposal to the Mongolian Ministry of Nature and we are waiting to hear their decision. Gotov is following up on this.

John Hare
Founder, Wild Camel Protection Foundation

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Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

For 20 years the Wild Camel Protection Foundation has been working to protect the critically endangered double-humped wild camel in the Gobi desert in China and Mongolia from extinction. This year, we decided to run a camel race day to raise funds for the hay, which keeps the 22 wild camels alive during the severe Mongolian winter at our wild camel breeding centre. Hay is not cheap. It does not grow near the desert and has to be carted almost 1200 miles – the final cost is in excess of $9,000.

Joseph Fossett, a good friend who keeps domestic Dromedary and Bactrian camels at Idlicote, Warwickshire, England agreed to bring the camels to Hole Park in Rolvenden, Kent thanks to a kind invitation from Edward and Claire Barham. September weather had been kind throughout the month but the clouds gathered on the morning of the 23rd, the day of the races. These clouds brought rain – in huge quantities. Through the teeming rain, intrepid wild camel supporters turned up – almost 1000 of them.

We determined to carry on. The Mongolian wrestlers and singers arrived early, although the archer had left his arrows behind in Nottingham, but as for the camels – word got around that they were stuck on the motorway in their camel box near Heathrow Airport.

The Mongolians wrestled manfully in their loincloths as the rain poured down. The singers and instrumentalists crooned their songs of love and lament as the waters swirled around them.

At three o’ clock, the time scheduled for the first race, the camel box finally trundled up the drive followed by the racing pigs in a trailer. Huge sighs of relief. Miraculously as it did so, for the very first time that day the rain stopped. Out came the pigs and raced away while the camels took a breather to get their wind back and snatch a quick snack. At 3.30 pm when they were due to take the field, all were ready except for one. The grumpy and disgruntled Safari, who was distinctly out of sorts. He had had enough of the camel box, the motorway and all members of the human race and he certainly let us know just how he felt.

When the other jockeys were mounted and at the starting tape, Safari was facing stubbornly in the wrong direction, squatting down, bellowing and refusing to budge. A female jockey had drawn the short straw and was riding Safari, but as soon as the race started, and the three other camels were a quarter of the way down the course, Safari got up swivelled round, and set off after them at a gallop. He overtook the entire field and won. When someone else rode him in the next heat he won again and then again in the final.

In spite of the weather, the Wild Camel Protection Foundation made over three quarters of the money needed to buy winter hay.

John Hare



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