Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Pet camel Cherry picked up at Echuca auction

Girgarre's Ajay Baker has a new pet, a baby camel called Cherry.

RENEE THOMPSON December 20, 2013 4:50am

Ajay Baker with her pet camel, Cherry.

Four-year-old Ajay Baker from Girgarre might be from a part of Australia where they are hard to come by, but her love for camels is a growing obsession.

Her latest pet, Cherry, is a five-month-old camel her grandparents Steven and Deb Baker bought for her from the Echuca saleyards last month.

‘‘She loves kissing the camel,’’ Steven said.

The Bakers had been among thousands in Echuca in late November for an unusual sale which saw about 100 outback donkeys and camels brought across from South Australia and the Northern Territory to be auctioned.

There to sell two of their mules, Steven said it was the biggest turnout they had seen at the yards.

‘‘There was an incredible amount of people there,’’ he said.

‘‘Ajay was sad to say goodbye to the mules, so we brought her home a camel.

‘‘I think we’re probably the only people in the district to have bought one, with most of them going to people further afield or interstate.’’

Cherry was one of the last of the female camels to be sold at the sale and the family bought her for about $900.

Ajay’s mum Sherree said her daughter’s obsession with camels began quite randomly.

‘‘I think she’d seen a picture of one on a sign somewhere, from the car,’’ she said.

‘‘She just came out with it one day and said, ‘I want a camel’.’’

It was not the only type of pet the Bakers have brought home for animal-lover Ajay, doting grandmother Deb said.

‘‘All the (five) camels are hers, she’s got mules, donkeys, guinea pigs, cats, horses — even a baby alpaca, Rocky,’’ Deb said.

But for the time being, according to Sherree, it was all about the camels.

‘‘We bought her favourite pet camel, Bippy, from Shepparton’s saleyards in April,’’ she said.

‘‘We bought Cherry for her birthday in November and now she wants one every birthday. She’s camel mad.’’

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