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Camel from live Nativity scene takes police on a town-wide chase

J-P Mauro - published on 12/16/21

The people of Bonner Springs, Kansas, have dubbed the fleet-footed camel "Forrest Hump."

On December 5, police officers in Bonner Springs, Kansas spent most of their Sunday afternoon pursuing a runaway camel. The animal had escaped from a Nativity scene that featured real animals. Animal control and police officers were taken on a chase through a golf course, across a major highway, and into residential neighborhoods. 

According to Newsweek, the locals of Bonner Springs have dubbed the beast “Forrest Hump.” The name was drawn from the title character of Forrest Gump, who was known for his spontaneous, long-distance running. 

The camel had been housed in the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, where it was a focal point of a live Nativity scene. Authorities are unsure how the dromedary escaped, but somehow the Arabian camel broke its harness and was able to make its bid for freedom. 

A Facebook post from the Bonner Springs Police Department shows images of the camel after it was corralled with a lasso:

Officers were surprised to learn how fast a camel can actually run. Dromedaries are bred for racing and can very quickly accelerate to speeds as fast as 40 miles per hour. Police pursued the camel on a golf cart while it was on the course, but they got into cars when the camel made its way to the highway. It was finally apprehended on foot in a residential neighborhood. 

Although it caused quite a commotion, local residents seemed amused by the unusual sight. Videos taken on camera phones, like the one featured above, show the camel keeping up with traffic on the highway. 

Complex reports that the Bonner Springs police said in a statement: 

“If you’ve heard the unbelievable tales, let us tell you that they are true! Officers and Animal Control spent the entire day chasing down a loose camel… [They] were finally able to catch up to the camel in the 600 block of North Nettleton Avenue where it was safely “taken into custody” by lasso! The camel was reunited with its owners and will go back to doing camel things.”

Reports indicate that the camel was treated for mild wounds sustained while crossing a barbed wire fence, but it was otherwise unharmed. It has since been returned to the National Agricultural Center, where it will presumably  resume its Nativity Scene duties.

Read more at Newsweek.

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