Sid sires calves to bolster numbers

Sid, a rare bactarian camel, who has fathered camel calves at Blackpool Zoo
Sid, a rare bactarian camel, who has fathered camel calves at Blackpool Zoo
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He’s perhaps an unlikely Lothario but Sid here could be in line to win a father of the year award at Blackpool Zoo.

The Bactrian camel has helped bolster numbers of his endangered species after siring three calves – to three different mothers no less.

Keepers at the attraction, off East Park Drive in the resort, have been celebrating the new arrivals, along with three sets of baby lemur twins.

Sid now needs Blackpool’s help to name his youngest daughter and three-week old son. But when the eldest female calf’s mother struggled to look after her, keepers were forced to hand-rear her, working round the clock to provide feeds every few hours and develop a close bond with the camel. Sadly the baby wasn’t able to make it and died on Monday.

Head keeper for mammals at Blackpool Zoo, Adam Kenyon, said: “We were delighted to welcome the first two camel calves in early May but it quickly became apparent Tibet, the mother of the first female baby, was struggling.”

Jude Rothwell, marketing co-ordinator for the Zoo, added: “Some animals take to the bottle really well but others just find it difficult, unfortunately she couldn’t cope.

“It’s always lovely to have the babies around and to see them thriving, they all have personality and character. The dad Sid is a real character.”

Now keepers are remaining positive and concentrating efforts on the young camels, looking to introduce them to the rest of the herd over the summer months.

Blackpool Zoo has a long history of successfully hand-rearing Bactrian camel calves, with the mother of the male, Karamay, having been hand-reared.

There are fewer than 1,000 Bactrian camels left in the wilds of remote regions of the Gobi and Taklimakan deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang. The species has two humps, while its relative, the Dromedary, has one.

Blackpool Zoo is asking people to visit its Facebook page to vote for their favourite names for the baby male and female, with options of Olaf, Samson or Romeo, and Jasmine, Cleo or Isis, respectively.