• Last modified 1664 days ago (Dec. 4, 2019)


Camel with ties to county escapes for early holiday

When Sully the camel escaped from his Goddard home recently, there was reason for concern for local fans.

The camel visits Salem Home annually, while others have met the dromedary at Christmas time, owner Robert Almstead said.

“A lot of people in the area have definitely met the camel for the living nativities,” he said. “We also take him to Salem Home for residents to see every year. We usually get a good turnout of kids.”

In addition to recent trips to Salem Home, Sully has made trips over the years to participate in nativity scenes in Peabody and Whitewater, Almstead said.

“Especially for the nativities, a lot of people really like seeing the camel,” he said. “If something bad would have happened, it definitely would have been felt by more than just us.”

Sully wasn’t the only one with local ties. Rufus, a three-year-old steer, was originally raised by Marion County resident Lisa Donahue, Salem Home’s administrator and Almstead’s mother-in-law.

The pair, as well as a donkey, escaped the week before Thanksgiving to a pasture next door through a hole in the fence, but it could have been much worse, Almstead said.

“What if one of the animals got spooked and somebody got run over or stepped on,” he said. “They’re big animals.”

Last modified Dec. 4, 2019