I was able to capture something rare today on video. Nessie being angry!
Or technically, this is Nessie displaying dominance.
There’s a lot of interesting body language and vocalizations in this video.
Listen to the sputtering and gurgling noises, which is literally spit being gargled up the camel’s throat into their mouth. Look at her posturing, her stiff neck and straining eyes. You can clearly see the whites in them, when normally you can’t. And most obvious perhaps is his droopy lower lip, which is carried like that during displays. Finally, at the end you can see Nessie bucking and kicking.
Camels are able to eat things we could scarcely think about touching! In this video, Nessie doesn’t even think twice about taking a prickly pear cactus from me and devouring it, thorns and all. It may look painful, but camels have a tough leather-like mouths protected farther with long raised grooves (think of a Koosh ball!) that are not easily penetrated by thorns. Pretty cool, huh? Camels are truly amazing beings.
My friend came to visit today and Nessie got excited and trampled a piece of carpet. The carpet was left behind by someone that used it to safely remove some of the cactus in their pasture. It’s now become a camel toy
Here’s a video of Baby and Nessie hanging out today.
I came out into the pasture to say hi while Baby and Nessie were cushing side by side. Nessie got up immediately to come and see me, but Baby felt satisfied with staying down. I walked nearer to Baby and Nessie followed. Here you can see Baby telling Nessie he doesn’t feel comfortable with her too close to him while he’s in a vulnerable position. Nessie doesn’t really seem to be getting the message though…
Yesterday, I moved Baby from his temporary pen back out to the pasture with Nessie. Which means I felt he was strong enough to compete with her and well enough to walk a greater distance to get to his food and water. It made me very happy to see him in there with her again and even though Nessie was pastured just across from the pen, I think she missed physically interacting with Baby a lot.
The last several months have been extremely stressful for me and there has been times where I was worried that Baby wouldn’t recover at all. That he was slowly dying. Seeing him back out in the pasture today gave me a visual testament of how far he’s come. Last month, I couldn’t have imagined putting them together again, but tonight they were able to eat again together in peace.
However, Baby’s still a long way from being 100% and I’m going to have to watch him closely. If he begins dragging his legs again, even sporadically, he’s going to have to be penned up again. It’s unclear to me whether his muscles need to be worked or left to recover in a smaller area, but I believe he needs to exercise them to re-build them. Mentally, the pasture is much better for him, too. The pen was small and didn’t provide him with enough stimulation. Now, he’s able to live like he’s meant to live: grazing the land side by side with his own species.