Wisconsin weather can be unpredictable! One day it’s shorts and a sunhat, and the next it’s pants and a raincoat. But what about camels? These fascinating creatures have their own unique way of dealing with the changing seasons.

Brushing Off Winter

Camels grow a thick, woolen coat at the end of summer to keep them warm during the winter. Unlike us, they can’t choose when to wear their “jacket.” Instead, they shed this dense undercoat in spring, replacing it with a more breathable, wiry coat.

Shedding doesn’t bother the camels, but they often rub against trees to help loosen their fur. This spring, we saw some unusually hot days while the camels were still shedding. To help them out, the animal care team at Milwaukee County Zoo used a pet rake brush to groom them.

Danielle Faucett, the winter quarters supervisor at the Zoo, shared that the camels don’t mind this grooming process. “It practically sheds off in sheets, you can pull some off with your hand,” she says. Both females Addie Jean (AJ) and Leilani, who are halter trained, participated in this grooming process. Losing their winter coat is not an overnight process. Stan, the male Bactrian camel, can get quite shaggy!

Leilani’s First Groom

Leilani the female Bactrian camel, who just turned one this spring, did an excellent job during her first grooming session. The animal care team brushed her out, ensuring she was comfortable and well-groomed. Visit the Zoo with your Zoo Pass soon to see the camel family and note if their coat is woolen for cold weather or wiry for the Wisconsin heat!

Sponsor a camel! Addie Jean (AJ) the female Bactrian camel is available for sponsorship through our Sponsor an Animal program.