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Police search for a camel on Christmas Eve

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(1/3)  Sharon Brown was parked in Jake Wilson’s driveway on Kelly Store Road on Christmas Eve when a police car pulled up.

The officer stepped out of the car and asked, “This is not a joke, but have you seen a camel? It escaped from the zoo.”

Brown said she couldn’t help but laugh at question given the night. And she wasn’t the only one laughing about it either.

Thurmont Police Officer Seth Ambrose said when the call came in about a camel running loose around 6:30 on Christmas Eve, he started laughing as well.

He and Officer Daniel Fitzgerald responded to the call and began searching for the camel along with two deputies from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

They found the camel about half an hour later, according to Ambrose. The camel was standing in the middle of Kelly Store Road not far from Wilson and Brown.
As the officers approached, the came began running down the road and into a farmer’s field.

“We corralled the camel and then we had to wait for Officer Fitzgerald’s uncle to come and lasso it,” Ambrose said.

Ron Walter, Fitzgerald’s uncle who is also a wrangler, came and lassoed the camel. The camel resisted and had to be worn down before it could be tied to a light pole.
“It was Christmas Eve,” Ambrose said. “There were Nativity scenes and Christmas pageants and here’s this camel out wandering around. I guess he was in search of a Nativity scene.”

And it may have been.

It was later discovered that the camel wasn’t from the zoo but from Interactive Wildlife. Lancelot, the 4-year-old camel, had wandered out of its corral while other camels were participating in a live nativity scene.

“This is the first time something like this has happened to me,” Ambrose said. “It’s definitely going to be a Christmas Eve that I remember.”

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