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Calgary camel receiving 'exceptional care' despite severe skin condition, zoo says

A Bactrian camel stretches its head over a fence at the Calgary Zoo in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh A Bactrian camel stretches its head over a fence at the Calgary Zoo in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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Some visitors to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo may be concerned about the condition of one of the facility's camels, but officials say the animal is being well taken care of.

Zoo officials say their male Bactrian camel named Ollie developed a skin condition several years ago and it's progressed to the point where some guests may believe it's an injury.

However, staff says that isn't the case.

"Our animal care, health and welfare team has been closely monitoring Ollie, supporting him with topical, oral and injectable medical treatments," Alison Archambault, the zoo's director of brand and engagement, told CTV News Wednesday.

Keepers are also taking measures to prevent magpies from impeding the healing process. That includes utilizing a number of different pest management measures.

"We have a robust pest management policy that supports us with a wide variety of tools," Archambault said.

Of course, it might seem like it would be easier for Ollie to be kept off display until his condition clears up, but staff says it's unclear how long that would be.

"We don't know how long the skin disease will persist," Archambault said.

"His human caregivers felt it was best for Ollie's well-being if he was kept on habitat during recovery near his habitat mate, Zsa-Zsa, and the human caregivers that love him."

She says all visitors who come to see Ollie should know that he is in good hands.

"We always appreciate visitor concern for the well-being of the animals we love and care for. Our community should rest-assured that Ollie is receiving exceptional care."

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