How Are Camels Born, and How Do Their Parents Take Care of Them?

Camels are born in a similar manner as a human baby, after a 12 to 14 month gestation period, according to the San Diego Zoo. Camels typically give birth to one calf at a time. A calf can stand and run when it is only a few hours old and calls to its mother with a soft “baa” sound similar to that of a lamb.

Female camels give birth every other year to one or, rarely, two calves. A mother camel finds a private area covered with vegetation for her calving spot. Camel calves nurse for 10 to 18 months, depending on species and food availability. They reach full adult size by 7 years of age.

The mother camel and calf typically rejoin the herd two weeks after birth and live together for some years unless they are forcibly separated. The calf has no humps on its back, but it does have small peaks of hide, each topped with a tassel of curly hair to indicate where the humps will form.

A full-grown camel can weigh as much as 1,800 pounds and stand over 7 feet tall. Camels can easily carry an extra 200 pounds while walking 20 miles, according to the San Diego Zoo.