I'm talking about the feral camels running around Texas with the blessings of the government!
Feral camels once roamed the plains of Texas.
One of the wackier ideas in American history, the U.S. Camel Corps was established in 1856 at Camp Verde, Texas. Reasoning that the arid southwest was a lot like the deserts of Egypt, the Army imported 66 camels from the Middle East. Despite the animals’ more objectionable qualities—they spat, regurgitated and defied orders—the experiment was generally deemed a success. As the Civil War broke out, exploration of the frontier was curtailed and Confederates captured Camp Verde. After the war, most of the camels were sold (some to Ringling Brothers’ circus) and others escaped into the wild. The last reported sighting of a feral camel came out of Texas in 1941. Presumably, no lingering descendants of the Camel Corps’ members remain alive today.
What makes this story even crazier is the fact that they actually had a U.S. Camel Corps established. Pretty wild stuff, huh?
Coffee out on the patio today. No camels are around, I promise!