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Photographer's Note

These are Bactrian Camels. I took this shot in Nubra Valley, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. These camels are domesticated and take tourists on a ride to the sand dunes of high altitude desert. We saw a few wild camels roaming in the dunes as well.

Bactrian camels are two humped camels and are the rarest among the 2 camel species. The domesticated Bactrian camel has served as a pack animal in inner Asia since ancient times. With its tolerance for cold, drought, and high altitudes, it enabled travel such as the caravans of the Silk Route (an ancient trade route passing from China to Central Asia). Bactrian camels are exceptionally adept at withstanding wide variations in temperature – ranging from freezing cold to blistering heat. They have a remarkable ability to go without water for months at a time, but when water is available they may drink up to 60 liters at once. When well fed, the humps are plump and erect, but as resources decline the humps shrink and lean to the side.

Sadly the wild form has dwindled to a population estimated at 800 in October 2009 and has been classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Additional Photos by Subho Banerjee (Subhogen) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 400 W: 14 N: 892] (4005)
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