is Utica Zoo's new wide-eyed wonder
UTICA — The Utica Zoo's newest addition, a baby Bactrian camel,
finally has a name.
After a contest to name the baby resulted in more than 200
entries, the choice of Nancy Rasbach of Oppenheim was judged the
The camel, which is 6-months old, has been officially named
Najla, which means wide-eyed in Arabic.
"I thought she was adorably cute," Rasbach said about the camel
after seeing the contest being promoted on television. "Her eyes
really caught me. The camels have a double row of eyelashes, so
it makes their eyes all the more bold."
Rasbach said she looked online at a baby name Web site, and she
looked for a name with an Arabic background, since camels come
from Arabian countries.
"I thought it was befitting for her," Rasbach said.
As winner of the contest, Rasbach received a $50 gift
certificate for the zoo's gift shop and a chance to feed Najla,
said Nicole White, the zoo's public relations and special events
However, Rasbach is letting her daughter Nicole McGowan, 12,
have the honor of feeding Najla at 9 a.m. today.
White said Najla was purchased with the help of funds raised
from the zoo's Brewfest, Cans for Camels program and collection
boxes set up around the city.
The zoo had been actively searching for some time for a female
Bactrian camel to mate with Nigel, the zoo's male Bactrian.
When Najla reaches age 3, she will be ready to mate with Nigel,
"She attracts tons of people who want to see her," White said.
"She's so cute."
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info on wild camels: www.wildcamels.com