Staff at a Blackpool vets got more than they bargained for when a special guest arrived for treatment – an eight-week-old baby camel.
Norcross Vets, more used to welcoming cats, dogs and other animals to the centre, were in for a surprise when Bactrain camel Kachana appeared for a health check on Wednesday.
He drinks ten litres of goats milk a day
The animal, part of the touring Circus Mondao, was born in June, but sadly his mother Sabia died three weeks ago after falling ill.
Trainers took the baby camel to the Norcross Lane-based centre to check Kachana was feeding properly and gaining weight.
Petra Jackson, ringmistress at the circus, said staff “made a huge fuss over him.”
The 39-year-old added: “For nine years we have had two camels, a male and female called Kashmir and Sabia. In that time they never produced a baby.
“We were not sure it would ever happen but last winter they started mating. Kachana was born and we were really pleased.
“But a few weeks ago Sabia went off her food. We tried treatment and took her to Leahurst Vet School where they discovered she had a weak heart. Unfortunately she had to be put down. Because she died we have had to build his weight up by hand feeding him and the visit to the vets was to check how he is doing.”
The vets revealed Kachana’s weight had increased from 47kg to close to 65kg in just a few weeks and said he was very healthy.
But Petra said his improved condition has come at a price – a very expensive one.
She added: “We feed him every two to three hours, from 7am in the morning to 11.30pm at night.
“He drinks ten litres of goat’s milk a day. It is not cheap at £1.60 a litre, so you can imagine how expensive it is throughout the week.
“When he is fully grown he will reach 7ft in height.”
A spokesman for Norcross Vets said: “The camel did not have any treatment but came in to be weighed.
“Because it is an orphan, it needs to be checked it is developing properly and putting on weight.
“I can safely say we have never had anything like it before.”
Circus Mondao is on its summer tour until August 31. Call 07722 791777 for details.