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#247 Wild Bactrian Camel

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 39

We have docked in Singapore now and are on our way to Yokohama with Phileas Fogg. These camels are from China and Mongolia. This may be kind of confusing, but while these are called Bactrian, it should be specified that they are wild Bactrian. There are actually 2 kinds of Bactrian camels, Camelus ferus which is the wild kind, and Camelus bactrianus which is the domesticated kind. There are differences, the wild ones are smaller and a bit more delicate looking with longer thinner legs. They can also drink water that is saltier than sea water, so salty that even the domesticated Bactrian cannot drink it. Bactrian can drink 15 gallons in one go. They live up to 40 years and can run as fast as 40mph. Their numbers continue to go down in spite of a captive breeding program in Mongolia. From 1985 until the last number survey in 2004, the Mongolian population went down from 650 to just 350 camels. At the time of that survey there were about 600 total in China too. Unfortunately it has been found that up to 30 are killed every year as they travel into China. There are miners, and others who hunt them for food. Wolves are the only natural predator they have.

I'm listening to Sherlock Holmes still while painting. I am almost done with the whole collection, but not quite. I had to laugh today though, because I'd forgotten that one of my ancestors is brought up in one of the books! Jonathan Wild was a notorious criminal, and Sherlock mentioned him. It was in the "history repeats itself" type manner, saying that Moriarty is in essence a "modern day" Jonathan Wild. Along with being related to Wild, I'm also related to Jesse James. My grandfather was an only child, and he always wished he had more family to feel connected to. He filled that hole by researching our ancestors. He even traveled all over the place here and overseas to find links and information. I'm not related to only criminals, I promise. There is a lot of royalty in there too. Although my favourite bit of history I'm connected to is not really the best one to bring up when trying to claim I'm not only related to criminals I suppose. Lady Jane Grey was queen of England for 9 days before she was beheaded. She was married to Guilford Dudley. He was the son of John Dudley, the 1st Duke of Northumberland and the Earl of Warwick. I'm related to John, and so I'm sort of related to Guilford, but Guilford was also beheaded and didn't have any children, so his line died. If you go to the Tower of London, you can see a little spot where Guilford carved Jane into the wall, it is under a bit of plexiglass. Those are probably my most well known claim-to-fame type relatives.

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