When Camels Attack

Image of Camel Frothing at the Mouth

Camel displaying palate flap

Camels don’t in fact attack very often.  They’re pretty laid back, except during the rutting season.  Males go into musth, just like elephants.  The males lose their hair, stop eating, dribble urine, gurgle, grind their teeth, suck wind, and blow out a palate flap from their mouths.

That said, if a camel is annoyed at you, watch out.  They can lash out with a powerful side-kick that feels like it’s coming out of nowhere:



They can also bite, sometimes taking an entire human head into their mouths (rarely fatal):



So what do you do if you’re on a three-month camel trek across the Sahara and you and your ride have a falling out?

It’s simple:  Let them win.

Give your angry camel a piece of your clothing.  You can leave it on the trail where they will find it or wear it loosely over your other clothes and let them grab it off you.  Once the camel is in possession it will stomp the offending article, bite it, and probably urinate on it.  The camel will then wander off and start chewing cud.  Camels, it seems, don’t hold a grudge.

Until you annoy them again.