Swimming camels of coastal region in Pakistan

The camels’ caravan in the sea – The swimming camels (Kharai) of Sindh Pakistan

All the photos are share by and credited to camel lady Valeri Crenshaw. She is on camel tour to one of the largest camel country Pakistan.

Kharai camel of Sindh Pakistan
Kharai camels are found in Tatha coastal region of Sindh Pakistan, especially in Kharo region (salt land).

Swimming camels browse on mangroves’ forest

They swim up to three kilometres in the shallow seas to reach their grazing land – the region’s mangroves. They are well adapted to the coastal ecosystem. Generally camels are found in the desert and their foot well adapted to the sands which support them in the coast as well. You can watch a very beautiful video story of BBC on the Kharai camels in Gujrat state of India. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-india-58498881

Swimming camels of coastal region in Pakistan
Swimming camels of coastal region in Pakistan

The major portion of this breed found in the coastal areas of Sindh Pakistan but there is a reasonable number of the breed in Gujrat state of India. In India the breed is under threat because of the industrialization of the historical grazing lands. https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/travel-tourism/the-swimming-camels-of-kutch-how-to-protect-natures-unique-miracle/1789977/

Kharai camel breed of Indus Delta
Kharai camel breed of Indus Delta

Some salient features and potential of Kharai camel

The camel has medium-sized body, with comparatively longer necks & legs , and well developed barrel like thorax. The average milk production is 5 kg per day. The Kharai camel is one of the strongest and the most powerful draft camel in Sindh province.

Phenotypic parameters reported from Gujrat studied by NGO Shahjeven.

The Kharai camel breed is under threat in its original habitat of Indus delta

The Manchar lake, Kharai camels, and many other flora and fauna biodiversity of the Indus delta are under threat, the main reason is climate change and low level flow of the Indus River. The breed is also under threat in Gujrat. The human greed for land, industrialization, and deforestation are the manmade crisis threatening this precious breed of camels.

The cameleer is herding his camels to reach the mangroves for browsing

The positive side of the story is that during the last decade, we have noticed awareness about this breed. You can find many stories, articles in the media during this period both from Pakistan and India. Here you can see different reports about the Kharai breed.

Camel caravan in the sea, Gujrat India. Photo credit; The Guardian

1 thought on “The camels’ caravan in the sea – The swimming camels (Kharai) of Sindh Pakistan”

  1. Good afternoon doctor, I know of instances whereby camel thieves cross the Senegal River (border between Mauritania and Senegal) tow stolen stock behind their canoes. It is also know for herders to take stock to the coast and use the salt water of the south Atlantic to tend to skin conditions. Sadly I have also seen the use of old engine oil for the same purpose. Branding also continues to be used and for me is an indication of the health problems the herder believes/actually has. Stock to stay clear of obviously!

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