Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 14:12 UK

Surprise addition at safari park

Camel
First sight of Meldrum the baby camel

A baby camel, who was born without its keepers even knowing, has gone on public show near Stirling.

Meldrum, the month-old Bactrian camel, appeared unknown to staff on Mothers' Day last month at Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park.

The 120lb, four-foot tall, furry camel is now big enough to be allowed to explore his home and be seen for the first time by visitors.

Keepers had not known his mother was pregnant until they found the newborn.

He was very weak when he was first born and staff had to get special calf milk from a nearby farm.

Gary Gilmour, park manager at Blair Drummond, said: "He's great, all legs and very clumsy. He's a popular addition with us here."

Meldrum was named after the farm which supplied the special milk.

At the moment he has a furry grey coat which he will shed over the next 18 months.

A courser sand-coloured coat will grow in its place and he will have two humps.

Bactrian camels are an endangered species and can grow to 7ft in height. There are only around 1,000 left in the wild.


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