• IUCN Status
    Critically Endangered in the Wild
  • Population
    1,100 (wild)
  • Diet
  • Group
  • Size
    height: Up to 2.3m Length: 3.5 - 3.8m
  • Continent
  • Lifespan
    40 Years
  • Weight
    450 - 690kg
  • Habitat
    Desert/ semi-arid
  • Scientific Name
    Camelus bactrianus

Meet the Bactrian Camel


The Bactrian camel  also known as the Mongolian camel, Asian camel, domestic Bactrian camel or two-humped camel, is a large even toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia

It has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary.  These camels have very tough mouths which enable them to eat throny desert plants.

Bactrian camels mainly in the domesticated form and their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria.

staff at wolds wildlife park


Clive at Wolds Wildlife Park

Did you know?

The Bactrian camel is the largest mammal in its native range and is the largest living camel while being shorter at the shoulder than the dromedary. Here are just some of the things you might like to know about them.

How to Bactrian camels cope in the desert?up arrow

Bactrian camels have long eyelashes in double rows & a third eyelid which acts like a windscreen wiper to wash sand & dirt out of their eyes. 

Their nostrils can close to provide protection from blowing sand. 

Their broad, flat feet have leathery pads & 2 toes on each foot which helps prevent them from sinking into the sand.

What do Bactrian camels store in their humps?down arrow

Contrary to popular belief it is not water!  Their 2 humps work in the same way that they do on a single humped (or dromedary) camel.  The humps are areas for storing fat which they can use by turning it into energy so they can survive for weeks without food or water. 

When the humps of a Bactrian camel are full of fat they stand upright but when fat reserves are low the humps become droopy.

Can Bactrian camels survive extreme temperatures?down arrow

The Bactrian camel is one of the most adaptable creatures on the planet.  They can withstand extreme changes in temperature which is ideal for their natural home ranges in Northern Asia. 

They can cope with temperatures that might range from +40 degrees centigrade in Summer to -30 degrees centigrade in Winter. 

The fat stored in their humps allows for excellent thermoregulation which makes it possible for them to release heat from their bodies in hot weather.

How much water can a Bactrian camel drink?down arrow

Bactrian camels can drink up to 57 litres of water in less than 15 minutes!  Wild Bactrian camels are the only land mammals capable of drinking salt water with no ill-effects.

Can camels run fast?down arrow

Yes, they can!  Although they walk very slowly they can run at speeds of up to 40mph. 

Camels walk in a rocking motion known as ‘pacing’ in which the front & back legs on the same side move forward at the same time unlike horses for example who’s legs move diagonally.

Some countries even have camel racing as a national sport!