High and dry: will India’s swimming camels be the last of their kind?

High and dry: will India’s swimming camels be the last of their kind?

Rapid industrialisation in Gujarat threatens the mangroves that kharai camels and their nomadic herders depend on

Ayub Amin Jat treats his camels like his children. But then his camels are no ordinary ungulates: they are a unique breed of camels that swim.

Amin Jat’s semi-nomadic ancestors have kept these camels in the Indian state of Gujarat for hundreds of years. Known as kharai camels, their name is derived from the local word khara, meaning saline. During the rainy season, they swim along the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea, to small forest islands and graze on mangroves and other saline-loving plants.

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