Camels

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Sep 13th, 2005, 01:24 AM
  #1
lgm
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Camels

How safe are camels? Is there a chance of getting rabies from them?

I want to do a camel ride when in Egypt, but the rabies vac is £118!
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Sep 13th, 2005, 04:35 AM
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I would not worry about getting a rabies shot for a camel ride. Though camels are supposed to be bad-tempered, I have ridden them numerous times and at least the ones I rode were quite docile. That said, I must tell you that, while on the ground in Australia, I was nipped on the arm by a heretofore friendly camel, which happened when a second camel came along to compete for my attention. Basically, the camel grabbed my arm with his teeth and held on--really tightly. Their teeth are like pegs, not sharp, though their jaws are very strong. I waited until he let go rather than pulling away, the skin wasn't broken, though I came away with a very large and colorful bruise. I never even thought of rabies.....
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Sep 13th, 2005, 04:54 AM
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Rabies, I believe, is only passed from carnivores.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 04:54 AM
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or omnivores, and camels are herbivores.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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I Googled "camels and rabies" and found reports of camels infected with rabies. So they are susceptible to rabies, probably by bite from a rabid animal, but the incidence appears to be quite rare. I found no reports of camels passing on the disease.

I just don't see much risk of a bite while on a camel ride: When you think about it, it would be difficult for a camel, upon whose back you were sitting, to reach back and bite--so long as you were controlling his head with the reins. And you can count on a handler to help you mount and dismount and control the camel at those times. If, as I did, you choose to interact with an unbridled camel, then the risk of getting bit is certainly higher.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 05:26 AM
  #6
lgm
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Thanks! To tell you the truth i hadn't considered it until someone else mentioned it. I would have assumed that if a camel did get rabies then their handlers wouldn't allow them to be riden, but thought I'd better check in case I was being naive.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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I believe the camels are used to tens of tourists getting on their back every day ... so I would not worry.. I warn you however that it is a bit of a scary feeling when they stand...

And by the way, make sure you negotiate / haggle the price in advance with the camel handler...
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Sep 13th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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When I was in Egypt I bargain with a boy and got the price down to $1 to sit on a camel for a picture. I thought I was smart but then when I wanted to get of they boy said "two dollar"!
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