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New Baby Bactrian Camel…

NajlaNajla is Utica Zoo's new wide-eyed wonder

Jessica Ryen
Observer-Dispatch

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 winner.

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 coordinator.

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, White said.
"She attracts tons of people who want to see her," White said. "She's so cute."

Read more, Click Here.

For more info on wild camels: www.wildcamels.com

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