Are camels dangerous?

Well, the answer is pretty obvious and that is that camels can be dangerous. It’s an interesting discussion because we see camels as work animals. We see them as rather placid, compliant animals earning a living for their owner. That’s the image that I have of this ubiquitous animal. And, as I understand it, they are generally well natured. However, my research indicates that they can turn on humans under certain circumstances and kill them.

Camel. Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

It doesn’t take much research to come to this conclusion. There is a story of an Indian guy who was beheaded by his camel. Habitually, he gave his camel Coca-Cola as I recall. One day he didn’t give his camel the treat and the camel turned on him and killed him. In another story also from Asia, the camel’s owner kept his camel in the hot day sun all day and the camel objected to it and turned on the man and killed him. This indicates intelligence and a willingness to respond to perceived abuse or lack of respect.

If a camel bites you on the head, you might not survive, and you will almost certainly suffer severe, potentially life-threatening or life-changing injuries. And it seems to me that they go for the head perhaps because they are much taller than people and therefore the first piece of human anatomy that they encounter in their attack is the head.

A recent story supports this assessment. An employee at a German zoo was bitten in the face by a camel. The man worked at the Perleberg Zoo. It’s located in northern Germany between Hamburg and Berlin. He was cleaning the camel’s enclosure one Sunday morning last. And he was feeding his camel. The animal turned on him and bit him. He suffered serious injuries. There is a scientific study on camel bites. It is a very gruesome study because it contains photographs of a badly injured man. He lost one of his eyes and the left side of his head was a mess. He was bitten several times before he could stop the aggression. He stopped the camel by stuffing an item of clothing into its mouth. He made to hospital in a highly distressed state.

The camel has a powerful bite and they are very strong. They are intelligent and wilful and it is said that they remember when they are abused (the above stories support this). They can respond with violence; whereas they respond with loyalty and obedience if they are treated affectionately and with care. In the mating season male camels can be very dangerous. They need space. Mothers protect their babies and can also be dangerous for this reason.

Camels have very long-levered legs which can impart a huge amount of force if they kick. The bottom line is that people should always respect wild animals even when they are tamed and domesticated. They are potentially dangerous. You need to know what you’re doing. Even experienced camel keepers as mentioned can be seriously injured or killed by the camels in their charge.

P.S. In Australia there are feral camels, large herds of them. They are being shot by the Australians in large numbers. They don’t talk about it.

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