An animal touted as the first camel of Warren County, and who was seen by thousands of local children, has died.
Beau the Camel passed away Saturday at his farm in Morrison. He was 15.
“We had him since he was a baby and have been all over the United States with him,” said Patrick Robinson of Tic Tac Farm, who bought Beau in 1999. “We took him everywhere, from schools to inside nursing homes. He was just inside NHC a few weeks ago so he was active right up until the end.”
Robinson said Beau’s death is believed to be heart-related. Federal law requires a necropsy (animal autopsy) to be completed on any animal licensed with the USDA. Preliminary results show cardiac complications similar to a heart attack, but it will be weeks before the official cause of death is released. Normal life expectancy for a camel is 40 to 50 years.
Camels are said to be one of the animals who have heart problems similar to humans. That’s why Beau was featured last month at a local barbershop for a Go Red For Women fundraiser for the American Heart Association.
Beau may be best known for his years at the petting zoo at the Warren County A&L Fair. About 30,000 people passed through the petting zoo each year.
Beau has been featured in the Southern Standard, magazines, advertisements, and recently in videos with the Grammy Award-winning Dailey & Vincent Bluegrass Duo. Robinson estimates Beau has been to more than 100 churches, 100 schools, and dozens of nursing homes.
Robinson purchased Beau in 1999, driving to Texas to pick him up with longtime friend Jack Adcock.
“We drove 18 hours straight to the facility in Texas and 18 hours back with Beau,” said Robinson. “This long haul started the legacy and business that became Tic Tac Farm. I began doing birthday parties, petting zoos, nativity scenes and more with Beau. He loved the attention from the beginning and enjoyed bananas as his favorite treat.”
Robinson said Beau was in apparent good health, had just received his yearly vaccinations, and was scheduled for an event on the weekend of his death. He had just eaten his daily banana treat from Mrs. Louise Robinson, who fed him daily. Beau had returned to his regular resting spot near a creek under a shade tree when he died.
Robinson said he hopes to buy another baby camel in the next few weeks to continue the Tic Tac Farm tradition.