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.