Our stories on animal abuse have included severe abuse of circus animals in Lebanon, neglect and abuse of zoo animals in Egypt, and even rampant abuse of pigs in (supposedly) kosher Israel. Always considered as “silent victims” these animals have suffered severe neglect and abuse in many Middle East countries, particularly during Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring revolution.Awaiting his next tourist charge, our camel seems a bit on the thin side, almost a year later
Abuse of camels, especially those used in the tourism industries of many Mid East countries have also been reported, including the alleged abuse of one particular camel, which has become a well known tourist attraction at the top of Jerusalem’s Mt. of Olives.
This camel, of whom this writer reported on in March, 2012, was found chained to a metal post near the Mt. of Olives observation point during a particularly cold and rainy day with his keeper nowhere in sight.
The recollection of that sad encounter with the Mt. of Olives camel resulted in a strong desire to revisit the place recently to find out if he was still there and in the same miserable condition as he was during our previous visit less than a year before.
Our second encounter occurred this January, the day after one of the worst winter storms and “biblical floods” to hit Israel and other neighboring countries had just abated. Although the bad weather had ceased, it was still quite cold on the summit of the mount.
The camel was not alone this time, as scores of tourist buses kept arriving there with foreign visitors for a panoramic view of the Old City as well as pose for photos on the observation point and upon the camel’s obliging back. Needless to say, he was quite busy letting people sit upon him for photo shots.
He still appeared to be a bit on the thin side, and we could only wonder what might have been happening to him there a couple of days before when Jerusalem received several centimeters of snow.
Not wanting to agitate his keeper, who led the stalwart beast around with somewhat frightened tourists sitting on his hump, we decided to let discretion be the better part of valor and not bring up that point with so many foreign tourists present.
Another domestic beast noted there was a white donkey, which seem a bit bedraggled and not receiving nearly as much attention as the camel. The donkey will probably become more popular as we near the Easter holiday and the New Testament account of Jesus arriving in Jerusalem while riding atop a white ass.
This “white ass” has obviously seen better days
In the earlier encounter with the camel, back in February, 2012, the camel’s keeper was reported to have said to an inquiring newspaper reporter that his camel charge was “very well” and was generally kept in a nearby stable when not being used as a tourist attraction.
Hopefully this is true as despite the fact that camels are generally regarded as very resilient beasts, being hobbled outside atop a snowy or rainy place as this could no doubt be construed as being nothing less than a case of animal abuse.
Read more on animal abuse in Israel and other parts of the Middle East:
Jerusalem Camel Abuse Caught on Camera
Israel’s Cruel Meat Industry Exposed by Watchdog TV Show
Egyptian Zookeepers Insult My Religion
Horses: The Silent Victims of Egypt’s Revolution