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India’s swimming camels are disappearing1 min read

October 4, 2020 < 1 min read

India’s swimming camels are disappearing1 min read

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Did you know that India is home to the world’s only species of swimming camels? Yes, you heard it right. The Kharai camels of Gujarat are a special species that have learned to swim to forage for their food. Nomads in Gujarat have been rearing these camels for hundreds of years.

The name comes from Khara in their local language, which translates to saline. These Kharai camels swim along the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea during the rainy months to graze on some saline-loving plants on the mangrove islands along the way.

But rapid industrialization in the mangroves and erratic rainfall have now destroyed their habitats and put these camels in danger. Ten years ago, there were around 10,000 Kharai camels in Gujarat but now the number is less than 4,500.

In 2015, the Government finally realized what was happening to these camels and labeled them endangered and are finding different ways to protect this species. This is the right step in ensuring that this species of camels continue to survive and thrive in our country.

Want to know more about these beautiful animals? Watch the video below:

Video: Great Big Story

With excerpts from Guardian

Photograph: Sahjeevan