History of Camels in Europe | Desert Farms UK

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History of Camels in Europe

History of Camels in the US     Camels in the US

The camel, most closely associated with desert climates, actually has unique connections to Europe. With small but historic introductions coming from the south and east, this venerable creature has occasionally left its mark in places not often considered camel country. The Romans made the first introductions of Arabian (one hump) camels, likely for menageries, but archaeological evidence also supports their use as working animals in Belgium during the Roman period. Later, Mongol incursions in the Dark Ages most certainly utilized the Bactrian (two humps) camel as a beast of burden as they left the Asian steppe moving toward Eastern Europe. The Mongol culture has a long tradition of milking their camels while the European use of the Arabian camel probably did not capitalize upon this. During Moorish rule of Spain the camel was largely unused, but shortly after Spanish acquisition of the Canary Islands camels from North Africa were imported and continue to be a fixture on the archipelago. Perhaps the most quizzical existence of camels in Europe would be in Italian Tuscany. It was here Grand Duke Ferdinand II introduced Arabian camels in 1662 from North Africa using them for labor on his extensive farm holdings. As late as the 19th century a few hundred of them still remained.

Texas Camel Corps