Libya: Camels from herd of 3,000 evacuated in Tripoli were not rustled

The huge train of camels walked through streets of war-torn Tripoli to avoid shelling on the city’s port

A herd of camels walk across the streets in Tripoli, Libya February 19, 2020. Picture taken February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Elumami
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Camels belonging to a 3,000-strong herd evacuated from Tripoli port during bombardment made it to the town of Zawiya without incident, their owner has said.

The evacuation of the herd and their subsequent 45-kilometre march from the Libyan capital to Zawiya in the west under cover of darkness resulted in one of Tripoli’s more surreal episodes in recent years.

As images and videos of the camel train spread on social media, reports emerged that some of the camels had been rustled.

However, in a letter to local authorities, the camels’ new owner Mohammed Amer Ishkal has clarified that all the animals arrived at their destination and none were stolen on the way.

Further aspects of the mystery have also been resolved. The thousands of camels had reportedly been imported from Australia, an elegant but perhaps unlikely solution to the country’s camel overpopulation problem.

Actually, Mr Ishkal has clarified, the camels came from Ethiopia. Australia’s Department of Agriculture has said Australia had not exported camels since 2007.