Albert and Einstein - the 'wild' camels who love nothing more than a hug.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 28 November 2014

Behind their infectious smiles and big brown eyes are two gentle giants who only wanted to find safety – and found so much more.

These two young camels were born free. The only lives they had ever known had been at their mothers’ sides, where they would naturally stay for several years. It was the safest place they knew. The young calves had survived in remote South Australia, and had never come into contact with people. The first time they did would change their lives forever.

Albert and Einstein were both under a year old when they were caught — too young to be separated from their mothers. But when Emma Haswell, Director of Brightside Farm Sanctuary, first cast eyes upon the two boys in a Victorian saleyard, they were distressed and bellowing for their mums – who were nowhere to be seen. Emma was shocked by what she witnessed – saying that in all her years as an animal carer, she had “never seen anything like it".

The two calves had been captured in the wild along with fifty other camels and calves, to be sold at auction to the highest bidder. The trauma these young camels had endured is something no calf should ever face. These gentle creatures were chased, rounded up, and loaded onto trucks to be driven across states. Saleyards and auctions can be stressful environments even for animals that are relatively domesticated and used to being handled. But these camels had never even experienced human contact – let alone navigated ramps, been loaded on and off trucks, transported, confined to pens, and experienced the hectic and noisy atmosphere of an auction. Many of these highly social animals were then separated from their herds to be sold off individually — including calves, still too young to be weaned. The scenes witnessed by onlookers of these terrified babies being forcibly loaded onto floats were heartbreaking.

Though the fate of many of the animals is unknown, for two of the camels sold that day there would be a happy ending. Albert and Einstein survived their terrifying ordeal, and would soon know the gentle touch of human kindness for the very first time. Emma had been watching the heart wrenching scenes at the auction that day, and heard the bellows of the two frightened boys, who were huddling together for comfort. They had lost their mothers and everything they had ever known – but thanks to Brightside Farm Sanctuary, they would not lose each other.

Shortly after their ordeal, Albert and Einstein were to take their first steps upon the green pastures of the Tasmanian Sanctuary. After originally attracting confused stares from other rescued residents (they had never seen a camel before, after all!), they have since settled in to their forever home, and have made many friends along the way.


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Without their mothers to protect them, the two calves have leaned on each other for comfort and support and are an inseparable pair at the sanctuary. Einstein, the younger of the two, has been watched over by his ‘big brother’, Albert, and they enthusiastically greet human visitors with a unique camel ‘hug’.

With the help and care of the people at Brightside, these boys are now safe to live a long and happy life. And as ambassadors for their kind, they will help inspire people to live by the words of their namesake – to create a kinder world for all animals.

“We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility." — Albert Einstein

How you can help camels

Camels are among the many victims of Australia’s live animal export industry. These wild-born animals are rounded up and captured, before being subjected to an arduous journey at sea for weeks at a time. Camels are particularly sensitive animals, and deserve kindness and compassion — not the extreme stress of live export, and fully-conscious slaughter in countries that have no animal welfare laws. Help camels by joining the fight to end Australia’s cruellest trade at www.BanLiveExport.com.

Keep up-to-date with Albert and Einstein (and their many rescued friends) in their happy forever home by following Brightside Farm Sanctuary on Facebook.