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Baby camels must wait to meet visitors after being born in lockdown

Marvin and Merlin were born at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park last month.

Rangers looking after two Bactrian camel calves say the newcomers will be shocked when they eventually see visitors flocking to meet them.

Marvin and Merlin were born at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, in Doncaster, in April and have just been introduced to the main camel herd in their reserve.

The park said they are the first camel calves to be born during lockdown and are in for a shock when the doors to the park finally reopen.

A spokesman said: “The park has had previous success with breeding camels but these are the first calves to be born at the park who have never seen a visitor, so it will be a surprise for them when the park reopens.”

Marvin was born on April 10 and Merlin followed on April 23.

“Merlin is darker in colour than Marvin but the two are becoming firm friends as they explore the extensive camel reserve together,” the spokesman said.

Hoofstock team leader Ayshea Seston said: “Both of the new calves are males and seem to be having the best time ever, enjoying the sun, bonding with their mothers, and getting to know the rest of the herd.

“Bactrian camels are very family-oriented animals with strong bonds within the herd. It is clear that they are all delighted with the new additions and so are we. ”

The park said that the gestation period of a Bactrian camel is 13 months and the calves stay with their mothers for a long time.

Ms Seston added: “It is great to have new babies here at the park. They create so much joy among the animals and the rangers, especially during such uncertain times.

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“The weather during April has been amazing and at this time of year the park would normally be booming with visitors. The children love to see the baby animals, but it’s all strangely quiet this year due to the temporary closure of the park.”

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