James Rada, Jr.
(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
“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