Male and female camels die this year; zoo officials looking into replacing them

Submitted Photo Hufferja, better known as Poopy, a male camel at Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, shown here, died in September and the female camel died earlier. Zoo officials are looking into replacing them.

With the loss of Roosevelt Park Zoo’s 18-year-old male Bactrian camel in late September, Roosevelt Park Zoo officials are looking into replacing the camels. The female camel died this spring.

The male camel died during the night. Exam results show the camel likely died from natural causes due to advanced age.

Poopy was born at Roosevelt Park Zoo. His true name was Hufferja, named for the veterinarian who assisted in his delivery. Keepers bonded with the new camel, affectionately calling him ‘Poopy,’ and the name stuck. He was halter trained at a young age and frequently traveled to schools as a part of the zoo’s education outreach program when he was small.

A female companion, Mulan, died this spring. It is unlikely Poopy’s death is related to her passing, zoo officials said. Both camels were advanced in age and receiving geriatric medical therapy.

Bactrian camels are classified as “critically endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back. Most of the population is domestic. The species is native to Central Asia, nomadic, with a tolerance for a wide climate range.

Zoo officials also are looking into moving the camel exhibit area to the north side of the zoo near other cold-weather animals.

The zoo is open through the winter from Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.