This camel served in the LAPD, becoming the highest-ranking in history

Los Angeles, California - For years before his passing in 2018, a camel named Bert served loyally and enthusiastically to help protect the people of Los Angeles. As a result, he received an animal world record for being the highest-ever ranking camel!

Bert was the highest-ranking camel in the world due to his work in the LAPD.
Bert was the highest-ranking camel in the world due to his work in the LAPD.  © Collage: Unsplash/Wolfgang Hasselmann & Screenshot/X/@GWR

Why did the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department have a camel, did he have a good life, and what made Bert so special?

Serving for as long as he did, Bert the camel must have accrued many fascinating stories and wonderful anecdotes!

Who is Bert the camel, why was he so impressive and so valued, and what is there to know about this magnificent mammal?

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It's time to take a look at the animal world record holder for the highest-ranking camel in history.

Who was the highest-ranking camel in history?

The highest-ranking camel in known history was an impressive guy named Bert, who worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Bert, whose name was an acronym for "Be Enthusiastic Responsible and True," served as a reserve Deputy Sheriff since 2003, achieving a lot in his 15-year career.

After receiving his badge on April 5, 2003, during a city of San Dimas family festival, he was given an adorable uniform complete with holes for his hump, head, and legs. During his many years of service, Bert helped keep kids away from drugs and ended up being a "spokescamel" for the department, at least according to his former carer Reserve Deputy Nance Fite.

"We decided Bert would be a spokescamel for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department," Nance told Guinness World Records. "He was a big part of the Children's Safety and Say No to Drugs program at the San Dimas station."

Why did Bert the camel serve in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department?

Bert was brought on at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department as an ambassador and a spokescamel. He had a way with kids and often visited children's hospitals and events in support of anti-drug campaigns alongside his ever-supportive carer, Nance, who had dreamed of having a camel since she was young.

During his career as a deputy, he made appearances at the Special Olympics, in schools around LA, and as a character of support in a variety of hospitals. He also became a television celebrity in his own right, featuring on shows like Talk to the Animals and Officially Amazing.

Nance put particular emphasis on Bert's impressive work with kids, saying that "he has made children of all ages smile, giggle, and be motivated to ask questions and answer the questions we give them... Bert opened doors for camels to be able to enrich people's lives in so many ways."

"Bert used to make everybody smile," she said after his sad passing on December 5, 2018. "That's what I remember about him the most. You couldn't be around him and not smile. He just brought happiness wherever he went."

Were there any other police camels?

All camels are majestic beasts, but Bert out-shined the others!
All camels are majestic beasts, but Bert out-shined the others!  © Unsplash/Sebastian Laube

While it might be a rarity in the United States, police camels are far from unusual.

Indeed, mounted police on camel-back were an iconic part of India's police force until relatively recently, and camels have even been known to feature in many Australian police departments.

Camels have been used less over recent years in law enforcement due to issues and concerns around accidental deaths, trampling, and animal cruelty. Still, camels provide a high degree of resilience and maneuverability that can be quite useful in policing.

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As a result, there are still places in the world that use camels for the duties of your average police horse, despite the problems.

It's uncertain whether Bert is truly the highest-ranking camel in the world, as there may be others more decorated than he is in other police departments around the globe. Still, he's certainly the highest ranking in the USA!

Bert's world record is an achievement for camel-kind!

While camels serve quite important roles in many countries, they are far from as appreciated as they should be in the West.

These humped and hoofed creatures are absolutely beautiful and much smarter than you'd think, yet are often passed over in favor of the horse when it comes to matters of service.

We've all seen a police horse or a police dog, but few of us would have ever seen a police camel. Perhaps this is an oversight – Bert's world record is a true achievement, and maybe it should happen again!

Cover photo: Collage: Unsplash/Wolfgang Hasselmann & Screenshot/X/@GWR

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