Camels will be at Beardsley Zoo this summer

A family on top of a camel in 2013. (Photo by Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo)

A family on top of a camel in 2013. (Photo by Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo)

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo welcomes three camels again for the summer. These animals will call Connecticut home through Labor Day.

Joining Toby and Goliath, who were at the zoo last summer, is Noah. All three will be available for rides from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for $5 per person.

Visitors are welcome to take photos at no additional charge and may purchase ride tickets at the front gate, gift shop, carousel and at the camel ride (cash only).

While there are no age restrictions for riders, anyone five years old and younger requires an adult rider with them. The zoo Shelton-BeardsleyZoo-Logoalso is offering a combo ticket for both a carousel and camel ride for $6.

Camel facts, courtesy of Environmental Graffiti:

• Bactrian camels have two humps while Dromedary camels have one hump. (Toby and Goliath are Dromedary camels.)

• The name camel comes from Arabic, meaning “beauty.”

• A camel’s hump stores fat — not water — as many believe.

• Camels can drink up to 40 gallons at one time.

• Camels can go for long periods of time without drinking because of the shape of their red blood cells, which are oval, and allows them to flow easily without clumping. They are the only mammals to have this kind of blood cell.

• Camels can kick in all four directions with each leg.

• Camels can eat anything without injuring their mouths — including thorny twigs.

• Camels can close their nostrils against wind and sand when necessary.

• Their coats reflect sunlight and insulate them from the desert heat.

• “Spitting” is actually a way that camels defend themselves. They don’t actually spit but rather throw up a nasty smelling fluid when provoked.

More at the zoo

The camels are not the only new addition to the zoo family. Connecticut’s only zoo is experiencing a baby boom with the recent births of four North American River otter pups, four Red wolf pups, and six Guinea hog piglets.

The zoo is open daily from 9 to 4 p.m. Adult admission (ages 12 and older) is $14, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is $10; and children 3 years and younger are free. Parking at the zoo is free.

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