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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Moorpark

Camel Delivers 3rd Baby Without Help

March 30, 2000|PAUL M. ANDERSON

Practice makes perfect for Lulu the camel, who gave birth to her third baby Wednesday at Moorpark College's teaching zoo all by herself.

A student making rounds found Lulu and her newborn nuzzling.

"She did it great and all on her own," said Holly Mandelkow, an operations assistant at the zoo.

This time was apparently much easier for Lulu than giving birth to Baby No. 1.

"With the first one we had to help a lot," said Lulu's trainer, DeAnn Zarkowski. "She didn't know how to nurse, so that was a bit of a battle. But now she's just the best mom."

Considering that single-humped dromedary camels are usually pregnant 12 to 15 months, it's no wonder Lulu couldn't wait.

Lulu was staying at the teaching zoo because the winters are warmer in Moorpark than in Lebec, a small community near Frazier Park where she usually lives at the Gentle Jungle facility. Gentle Jungle rents Lulu out for TV commercials and shows.

"We were afraid of her having the baby in the cold because the baby can get hypothermia," Zarkowski said.

Lulu enjoys the spotlight. On one of her most recent jobs, a children's television show, she got to wear a veil and devour wedding cake, Zarkowski said.

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