Culture & Society Czech Republic News

Why were camels spotted in Prague?

camel

Prague, Czech Republic – Prague residents were offered a rare sight last week, as a group of camels was seen walking through the Czech capital as part of a climate awareness campaign.

Camels spotted across Czech Republic

Spearheaded by Czech brewery Radegast, the campaign aims to raise awareness about the issues of water scarcity and poor water management, and highlight the importance of bringing down our daily water consumption.

Launched last week on World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought and running until June 26, the initiative was organised in Prague, as well as in the city of Ostrava and the forests of Beskydy, where pictures and videos of camels quickly took Czech social media by storm.

“Camels, which are a symbol of drought and desert, show us that water retention and taking care of water resources are extremely important activities,” said Radegast brand manager Josef Jalůvka.

The campaign was organised in cooperation with Velbloudi.cz, a local camel farm.

The campaign coincided with an unprecedented heatwave in the Czech Republic and across Europe, adding more resonance to the importance of the issues raised.

Camels, humps, and thirsty brewers

Known for their ingenious system of water retention, camels can store fat in their humps, be used for nourishment when food is scarce – a key feature enabling them to survive in desert and arid climates. But contrary to a common misbelief, the humps themselves do not store water, which is only produced as a byproduct when the fat is burned and metabolised.

Camels are also able to go weeks without drinking, an incredible feat partly due to their oval-shaped blood cells which also allows them to consume very large amounts of water at once and the blood to flow more easily when water is scarce.

Apart from raising awareness and tickling the public’s curiosity, Radegast’s campaign has a more prosaic aim: anyone who buys a Radegast beer from June 17-26 can upload a picture of the receipt on the brewer’s website.

For every beer receipt, the company has pledged to buy an irrigation bag to help cities and municipalities across the Czech Republic care for their greenery in a sustainable way.

Ironically, beers themselves are highly water-intensive to produce, regardless of the fact they’re 90-95% composed of water. While studies differ, it is believed that the average brewery can consume upwards of 7 litres of water to produce one single litre of beer – although water-efficiency methods introduced in recent years tend to bring these numbers down.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.