THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY
Featured in David Attenborough's latest documentary
350 miles in 2 weeks with 12 camels
Recently featured on the latest Attenborough epic 'Perfect Planet', this critically endangered mammal was once widespread across Central Asia. Now the uninhabited Gobi desert is home to the last 1000 Wild Camels on earth, surviving on the very edge of what's possible in one of the driest and most extreme environments in the world.
Wild Camels are able to survive on salt water with a higher salt content than sea water.
A camel has a stronger immune system then any other large mammal, a very relevant field of study in relation to current pandemics.
In Lop Nur the Wild Camels survived 43 atmospheric nuclear tests with no apparent effects.
Our current main fund-raising and urgent activity is for a new breeding centre at Toli Bulag. We need to have a fence constructed by May/June so we can move a genetically tested pure herd of Wild Camels from Zakhyn Us to this new site 350 miles away. The reason for a new centre is that Zakhyn Us is full with 35 camels and 6 more calves expected in the spring. It is a measure of our success as we started with eight in 2004 and have now reached capacity.
Transportation by road is too risky, so this group of critically endangered Wild Camels will make the journey to the new breeding centre on foot - first time in history a group of Wild Camels will be herded 350 miles across inhospitable terrain. The trek will take them through the valleys of the beautiful Endriginn Nuruu Mountains, which form the northern border of the Wild Camel habitat in Mongolia. Further to the north, the spectacular Altai Mountains form a photogenic backdrop to the historic journey.
John Hare's trekking days are over, so he has asked his great friend and highly acclaimed long-rider, Belinda Braithwaite, to accompany the historic trek.
Dr. Adiya Yadamsuren, Mongolia’s foremost Wild Camel expert, WCPF chief herdsman Tsog Erdene, Belinda Braithwaite and a veterinarian will ride Bactrian camels and horses as they lead the group of Wild Camels to the new centre at Toli Bulag. They will sleep in the open air on bedding rolls, but will carry a tent for use in sandstorms and other emergencies. Tsog Erdene’s domestic Bactrian camels will carry food, water and basic provisions.
"Were it not for Adiya's team, it might have disappeared altogether, but because of their work, we may yet save this icon of the Gobi"
John Hare, overall supervisor
Dr. Adiya Yadamsuren
Two other herdsmen
The long-term survival of this critically endangered species – the eighth most endangered large mammal on the planet - could depend on this incredible journey’s success.
A maximum of 12 Wild Camels will be translocated. Selection depends on genetic testing to minimise in-breeding. These tests will be carried out in the spring of 2021.
We need YOUR help ...
Stage 1: We urgently need £50,000 by April 2021 to fence the 150 acre enclosure at Toli Bulag breeding centre with metal posts which will last. The “incredible journey” cannot go ahead until we have secured this stage of the funding. Plus £15,000 to cover the costs of the trek.
An additional £35,000 is needed by August to cover the cost of the new buildings for hay etc.
It costs £55,000 per year to keep the breeding centre running, so the goal is to raise a further £200,000 for the Wild Camel Protection Foundation which will give the new breeding a good start.
So we need your help!