On October 3rd, at 12:30, in Room 119 of Humanities Hall, C.W. Post was graced with the presence of a man with a very unique calling in life. The honors program and merit fellowship hosted a special lecture with John Hare, a British explorer and the founder of The Wild Camel Protection Foundation, who has spent the better part of the last two decades traveling deserts in Mongolia and China in order to study the wild camel.
These camels are extremely endangered creatures, and, accordingly, find themselves under continued threat because illegal miners invade their sanctuary in pursuit of gold.
Though the sanctuary has rangers that can, theoretically, fend off these miners, there are only about 30 rangers employed to cover an area around the size of Texas. The miners left 74 empty and seven full drums of potassium cyanide at their mining site, which is the only site in the entire desert with fresh water. It poisoned the water, killing off many of the wild camels. The miners also shot the wild camels for food.
Wild camels differ from regular camels in that they have two humps, which remain small, even after the camels drink, and they have a different, flat skull structure. In his lecture, John Hare explained that this rare species of camels survives on salt water with a higher salt concentration than seawater and live in an area that has been used for dozens of nuclear tests, yet they have still managed to survive.
When asked what he would like to share with the C.W. Post community, John Hare said, “The camel is a remarkable survivor and is under threat. Although it isn’t cute and cuddly, it is remarkable.” And, although John Hare speaks to over 130 schools in England alone, he felt that the C.W. Post audience was a very good and interested audience in comparison to other student bodies.
At the event, John Hare was selling books and camelhair products, like scarves and socks, for the benefit of the camel population. If anyone in the C.W. Post community is interested in contributing to the efforts to protect the wild camel species or in buying the aforementioned products, he or she may go to www.wildcamels.com for more information or to become a donating member of The Wild Camel Protection Foundation.