Hi, Johnnie!: If you drive out 287 north of Longmont and look in the “pens” just south of Duran’s Hobby Acres, there are several small horses. In the pen to the west of the horses, there is another pen, which includes a camel! I was wondering if you could find out the “story” behind a camel being there.
Thank so much. — Confused by the Camel
Dear Confused: Following your suggestion, I drove out on U.S. Highway 287 north of Longmont and turned into the lane that followed the pens you described. I saw small horses. I saw goats. But I saw no camel.
Fortunately, I saw a woman walking out of one of the outbuildings, so I introduced myself. It was Nicole Bell, who runs Crestone Farms. When I asked about a camel, she replied: “Oh, you would like to see Mr. Sultan.” I was a bit confused at first, as she was holding a baby. Then I realized that she, too, was talking about the camel.
We headed over to one of the large outdoor pens, where I got to see Mr. Sultan. He was lounging next to the hay buffet, which is why I didn’t see him when I drove up.
Bell said she bought Mr. Sultan from a friend back in February. He is a 4-year-old dromedary, or Arabian, camel. Dromedaries range from northern Africa to southwestern Asia, with populations that were introduced to central Australia. Mr. Sultan is from Missouri. He is still young for a camel, which can live to about 20 years, Bell told me. He’s about 6 feet at head and hump right now, but still has a little growing to do.
Crestone Farms operates petting zoos, traveling around Colorado. Mr. Sultan has not joined the petting zoo, although Bell told me he made a visit to the school at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. I asked about Mr. Sultan’s availability for nativity scenes. Yes, he is available.
His next public appearance will be July 8 and 9 at the Loveland Summerfest.
If you would like a closer look at Mr. Sultan (or any of the other critters at Crestone Farms), give Nicole Bell a call at 720-232-7030. He won’t look quite like you see him in today’s glamour shot. He’s due for his summer buzz cut.
Dear Readers: Have a fantastic Fourth of July! As we celebrate our freedoms, let us also be thankful for them.