Perusing our archive of Central Park Stereopticon pictures recently I came across this singular photo of a camel, seeming quite relaxed on a stroll through Central Park.  As part of the park’s menagerie (which later became the Central Park Zoo), camels visited Sheep Meadow periodically. This particular camel appears to be roaming the park quite freely. Camels were popular at the menagerie, and they got lots of attention in the press; newspapers updated New Yorkers on when new camels came to the park, when a baby camel was born, and when a beloved camel died as evidenced by this brief, but poignant, notice in the NY Times:

“VOLSTEAD, ZOO CAMEL, DIES
Grief of Mate and Offsprlng Acute – Museum Declines Carcass
Volstead, the 14-year-old Bactrian camel who had long figured as one of the chief attractions at the Cen­tral Park Zoo, died yesterday after four days’ illness. Volstead, who was born in the zoo here, was the last of the male camels of the Central Park herd. He is survived by his mate, Jeanette, and an 11-months-old offspring, Jeanette 2nd. The grief of the survivors was described by Head Keeper Robert Hurton as acute.
The Museum of Natural History having declined to accept Volstead’s carcass, the camel will be buried at Barren Island.”
Published: May 23, 1930 Copyright © The New York Times

I think my favorite part of the whole camel saga was the name “Volstead”. This was thanks to the efforts of the aforementioned Robert Hurton, known around the Menagerie as “Bob the Moniker King”. Besides his sensitivity to the bereavement of the Volstead clan his finest moment might have come in the services of “Tiny” the Hippo. While he may not have displayed exceptional talent in nicknaming this particular charge he did perform nobly in the matchmaking department. As reported by the NY Times Mr. Hurton noticed that Tiny seemed apparently lonely and actually had a suitable mate sent all the way from Hamburg, Germany.

 

They were also apparently employed as part of the ongoing landscaping efforts:

Working Camel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as a special ride attraction on Sheep Meadow.

Camel ride on Sheep Meadow

 

Central Park Bike Tour

  • Our bicycle tour has been ranked as one the top 5 things to do in Central Park by TripAdvisor. It is the only tour that covers the entire length of Central Park and it provides an excellent overview of the whole park.
  • The tour takes approximately 2 hours and it includes various stops along the way. On those stops, you can park the bicycle and go for a short stroll along some of the most stunning views of Central Park.
  • Including Bethesda Terrace, Strawberry Fields, The Bow Bridge, Balto and many more. In addition, you will also visit some of the hidden places in Central Park - the Ravine, the secret waterfall and of course our team’s favorite - the Central Park Ramble!
  • 2 Hours - $53 - Prices are per person
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Central Park Pedicab Tour

  • Allow one of our experienced tour guides to show you the beauty of the park from the back of a pedicab. Those iconic NYC pedicabs are one of the best things to do in Central Park!
  • Sit down and relax while your tour guide tells you about the history of the park, architecture, interesting trivia and of course points out the exact location of all those blockbuster movies filmed in Central Park
  • Reserve either 1 hour or 2 hour guided pedicab tour. If you are already in the park, don’t worry, we can send the tour guide to pick you up from one of the many designated pick up zones inside Central Park.
  • 1 Hour - $53 - 2 Hours - $89 - Prices are per person
  • Book Here.

Central Park Bike Rental

  • Biking in Central Park is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the park and do it at your own pace.
  • You can pick up your bike from one of our convenient locations around the park. In case you are already inside the park, no worries, we can send our concierge to deliver the bike(s) to one of the many designated bike zones inside the park. At the time of booking, we will direct you to the nearest bike pick up station in the park.
  • Pack some light snacks and a water bottle, take one of the park maps we provide. When reserving your bike rental, you will have an option to include an audio guided tour.
  • 1 Hour $15 - 2 Hours $20 - 3 Hours $25 - All Day (9am -7pm) $40
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Things To Do

From The Philharmonic on the Great Lawn to Shakespeare in the Park to SummerStage, Central Park offers an endless array of things to do, see, hear – and, with two full service restaurants and several cafes, taste.  You can visit The Shakespeare Garden, take in a performance at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, take a ride on the Carousel – or just sit and people watch at Bethesda Terrace!

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New York, NY, 10028

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