Update: 6/13/23 — With over 4,000 votes and the winning name getting 50% of the votes — the camel calf’s name is Leilani (“heavenly flower”)!
Originally posted: 5/24/23 — The Milwaukee County Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a female Bactrian camel. The calf was born May 20 at 11:35 a.m. to parents Addie-Jean (better known as A.J.) and Stan. The calf is doing well, and animal care staff say she appears healthy. The birth took place in the outdoor Camel habitat, and the calf was observed nursing well from mom the same evening. Zookeepers say A.J. is an excellent mother and is noticeably calmer with this calf compared to her first three offspring.
Mother, A.J., (born May 2012) is 11 years old, and father, Stan, is 10 years old. They have three other sons: Oliver, who was born in 2021; Jethro, born in 2019; and George, born in 2017. All three camels have since transferred to other zoological organizations.
The new calf underwent a neo-natal exam, and she weighed about 88 pounds.
If the calf continues to do well and progress as she should, visitors can see her in the outdoor Camel habitat with mom from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. In the case of inclement weather, the calf will be off exhibit in the indoor Camel barn.
Zookeepers comment that A.J. is like a “helicopter mom, super-attentive” to all her calves, and an excellent mother. She has a very “sweet and friendly” temperament and is responsive to cues from her caregivers for training and participating in her own healthcare.
As a precaution, Stan was separated from A.J. as the due date for the calf approached. The timing for introducing the calf to Stan depends on the type of interactions zookeepers observe between the three camels through a mesh barrier in the Camel barn.
Animal care staff will also assess how the calf is moving around the habitat and what the weather conditions are like before the family will be together outside. If these outward signs appear favorable, it will likely be about one month before the outdoor introductions begin.
Learn how you can help camels in the wild!
Autor Andrew Bleiman