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Baby Bison, Camel and Ram Take Part in Wagon Days Parade
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Sunday, September 4, 2022


Jeral and Jeanie Williams’ camels Humphrey and Clyde, their white buffalo and other animals have been a hit at Ketchum’s Wagon Days Parade ever since they started coming 12 years ago.

But this year’s parade was extra special as they had three babies in tow—Zippy, a 6-month-old black-belly Barbados ram; Omar, a 5-month-old Bactrian camel, and Bindi, a 2-month-old white bison.

“All three get along well together,” said Jeral Williams. “They hang out with one another and they feel safe.”

A white baby bison walks the parade route next to its buddy—a baby Bactrian camel.

Typically, a camel in the wild would run away with its mother and hide. But the Williams introduced them to people early, taking Omar to a parade in Richland, Wash., and now to Ketchum’s Wagon Days Parade.

“I’m its mother,” he said. “Whatever he learns, he learns from me.”

The Williams have a beef cattle ranch near Idaho Falls They got a camel a dozen years ago and have increased their menagerie since.

One of the adult camels had a mean disposition, but an Australian camel whisperer showed up at their ranch one day and worked with it, reporting it had been abused in a previous life.

Camel owner Jeral Williams calls his handlebar mustache curls his worry curls. “I twist ‘em when I worry.”

“I told the camel, ‘If you don’t behave yourself, I’m going to grind you into hamburger!’ ” Jeral Williams quipped.

In addition to the more exotic animals, Jeanie Williams trotted out several Australian shepherd dogs in the parade.

“I love them because they’re so beautiful—they’re smart, loving, loyal,” she said. ”We  named them Kodi, Sadie, Ripp and Chipp. And Carl got his name because he was born in a car.”

Parade goers must have thought the camels were perfectly suited to the temperatures, which climbed into the upper 80s on Saturday.

One Wagon Days spectator came equipped with the perfect stead.

“I don’t know if they like it, but they tolerate it,” said Jeral Williams.


About 1,500 bicyclists are slated to head out of the starting gates at Festival Meadows at 8 a.m. today headed up Trail Creek Summit in Rebecca Rusch’s gravel bike event.

A party and expo with live music, games and vendors hawking such wares as 3D imaging bicycle helmets will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Festival Meadows. The awards ceremony will take place at 4 p.m.

Seven-year-old Hunter and Patrick Holman show off the family brand they made during the Wagon Days festivities.

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