World Camel Day Date in the current year: June 22, 2024

World Camel Day Camels were domesticated thousands of years ago and are extensively used as livestock and working animals in desert regions. Given their importance (and the critically endangered status of the wild Bactrian camel), it is not surprising that camels have a holiday dedicated to them. World Camel Day is celebrated annually on June 22.

Camels are even-toed ungulates that make up the genus Camelus in the family Camelidae, which also includes alpacas, guanacos, llamas, and vicuñas. There are three extant camel species: the one-humped dromedary, which makes up more than 90% of the world’s camel population, the two-humped Bactrian camel, and the two-humped wild camel.

The dromedary and the Bactrian camel have been domesticated for thousands of years. The wild camel is closely related to the Bactrian camel but is considered a separate species even though it is sometimes referred to as the wild Bactrian camel. It is critically endangered; there are only about 1,000 wild camels left in the wild in parts of China and Mongolia.

Camels are highly adaptable animals that can withstand long periods of time without consuming water even in very hot weather. They are also able to withstand changes of body temperature that would kill most other mammals. Due to their adaptability, camels are important work animals and livestock in regions with hot and dry climate (Central Asia and South Asia, the Middle East, Sahara Desert, and Australia).

Domesticated camels can be used for a wide variety of purposes: as a source of food (meat and milk), wool and leather, as draft animals (for plowing, pulling carts, carrying loads, and processing in oil mills), and for riding. Camels are a vital means of transport for cargo and passengers in deserts, and their milk is a staple food for nomadic tribes that live in desert regions. Camels were also used in desert warfare until the mid-20th century.

World Camel Day was launched in 2009 by Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar, a camelist, ethnoecologist, and low carbon livestock expert. The date of June 22 was chosen because June 21 is the longest and hottest day of the year in the native habitat of camels; however, there are too many holidays on June 21, including Father’s Day in Arab countries, so Dr. Raziq Kakar decided to skip June 21 and selected June 22 instead, which is just 2 seconds shorter than June 21 anyway.

The main goal of World Camel Day is to promote camels, celebrate their adaptability, and spread awareness about their importance for food security and the livelihood of thousands of people. You can celebrate the holiday by learning more about these amazing animals and their uses, visiting a zoo or a camel farm (if there is one near you), riding a camel, donating to a conservation organization that works to save the wild Bactrian camel, and spreading the world about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #WorldCamelDay.

World Camel Day isn’t the only holiday celebrating a working animal that was created by Dr. Raziq Kakar. He also came up with the idea of World Donkey Day, which is observed annually in May 8 to celebrate hard-working domesticated animals that are often misunderstood and underappreciated.

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World Camel Day, environmental observances, international observances, camels, Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar