Zoo Mourns Loss of Camel

Rolling Hills Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its animal family.

According to the zoo, their dromedary white camel Cleopatra passed away this past weekend.  A rare white camel, at the time of her birth Cleopatra was one of only 40 white camels in the world.

In 1994 prior to the zoo opening, Cleo (short for Cleopatra) along with a dark chocolate male dromedary camel named Pharaoh, were born at the main barn.  While the two grew up together, Pharaoh eventually transferred to another facility while Cleo lived out her life at Rolling Hills Zoo.

During her early years, Cleo was housed with Abdul, another male dromedary camel. They always got along very well and enjoyed each other’s company. Since Abdul was easily distracted by people, Cleo had a habit of gobbling up her food and then going over and eating Abdul’s food.  Following Abdul, Carlos joined Cleo in the camel yard. As a small young male dromedary camel, Carlos was easily pushed around the yard by Cleo, but as Carlos grew in size and stature Cleo no longer had the upper hand and they were moved to adjoining but separate yards.

“Cleo was a very good girl, always very gentle and browse was her favorite,” shared Vickie Musselman, RHZ Register.   “You were able to clean around her without her bothering you, and during the spring when shedding she would allow you to remove the loose hanging hair from her neck and sides. I think she may have enjoyed the grooming attention.”

“She was eager to train and her favorite food was pears,” observed Devney Bowen, Head Keeper.  “Cleo was also very particular about who was allowed to touch her, so before that could happen you had to build up a good trust reserve with her.  Overall, she was very sweet to everyone, never aggressive, a gentle soul, very wise, and very well loved.”

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Rolling Hills Zoo photos


Cleopatra was born in 1994 prior to the zoo opening.