The North Shore News has published a piece about a new statue that's been installed on Lonsdale in North Vancouver. It's an ode to one of the 23 camels who were brought in to work as pack animals during the gold rush, and I figured this would be an opportune moment to once again share the episode of our history show we did last season about this very subject. Yes, camels once roamed the wilds of our province.
Richard Wright, basically the only living expert on the camels of BC (he owned a couple in the 90's and did tours to and from the gold fields), pointed out a bit of an oversight in the design of the statue. As he tells us in the video below, the camels that came to BC in 1862 all hailed from the Gobi desert and were Bactrian camels, meaning they had two humps. The statue is of a Dromedary camel, with one hump. The artist who created tha statue stated that it was an aesthetic decision to go with one hump. “I actually prefer the one-humped camel and I’m the artist so I get to make the decision,” Myfanwy MacLeod said with a laugh. “It’s called artistic licence.”. Fair enough!