Three years ago in Saudi Arabia, about 2000 (with estimates as high as 5000) camels mysteriously dropped dead, suffering from symptoms including vomiting, fainting, excitability, paralysis, neurological problems, and sweating, which indicated some type of poisoning as opposed to an infectious disease. It was thought that possibly the cause could have been contaminated feed, either by insecticide or by deadly toxic fungus or mold. The deaths coincided with a major change in feed from barley to less expensive substitutes. It was called an unprecedented national tragedy at the time and the King ordered restitution to be paid to those camel owners who lost livestock during that time. Ultimately it was decided that the cause for the mysterious camel deaths was due to contaminated fodder. A mill had tried to step up its production of fodder and had inadvertently mixed in some chicken feed infused with an antibiotic that is poisonous to camels.
Camels are considered to be very resilient animals, able to survive in extreme circumstances, like severe heat and dryness, with very little water. The population of camels in the kingdom is just under one million, and camels are used as beasts of burden, as well as for racing and breeding, for their milk and their meat, and are also revered in annual camel beauty contests where the prize winner can walk away with a million dollars.
About This Blog, and About Me: Susie of Arabia
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is KSA's 2nd largest city and is located on its west coast, right on the Red Sea. I moved here in 2007 with my Saudi hubby and teenage son. This journal reflects the things that I see here, life through my eyes, my lens.
Please be sure to also visit my other blog, SUSIE'S BIG ADVENTURE, which relates my experiences, thoughts, and observations about living in Saudi Arabia.
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