Camels in the Đurđevac Sahara

Total Croatia News

Interest for the double-hump camels is huge, said Đurđevac mayor and MP Željko Lacković, convinced of his valid investment

Since Đurđevac already has a Sahara, why not have camels in it? Real, live camels, whom they will try to teach the local dialect, as locals joke, Jutarnji List reported on November 17, 2016.

It may have started as a joke, but the town of Đurđevac in cooperation with the local tourism board recently bought and delivered from Germany three of the noble animals – two double-hump females and one single-hump male.

Behind this slightly bizarre move it actually an ambitious plan by Đurđevac mayor and fresh MP Željko Lacković to turn the remains of a local desert, the Đurđevac Sands reserve, into a desirable tourism destination.

“We were recently visited by a TV crew and while in our reserve, one of only two such in Europe, someone from the crew joked about where the camels are. And that’s how the idea was born,” said Lacković, adding the interest is huge ahead of the official presentation.

Unofficially, the Croatian Sahara and camels are interesting to many production companies who would film commercials or music videos.

Some would require seven camels, so it is to be expected that the Croatian herd will keep expanding.

The first three animals are currently at a temporary location in quarantine and adjustment. They are very friendly, mostly eating grass and resting. Visitors of the Croatian Sahara will be able to mount them as well. Their price has not been confirmed, but unofficially the entire cost is 90 thousand Kuna.

For the camels to painlessly adjust to Podravina fields and vineyards, they are cared for by a team of specially trained caretakers.

“Many wonder how camels came to this area, but archaeological digs in the area found camel bones which the Turks used to transport cargo,” said Mario Fuček, chief of the Đurđevac tourism board.

“I assure everyone from animal protection societies that the camels will not lack anything here. They are cared for by trained experts, with plenty of space to move around. Besides, camel farms exist all around Europe,” said Fuček.

Mayor Lacković said they will have better conditions in Podravina than they did in the north of Germany. The next move is to build permanent dwellings alongside the Đurđevac fort Stari Grad. After that they will be named, one of them – Đurđa.


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