From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]
“The Civil War put an end to the American experiment with camels.
Afterward, the camels in Texas and California were auctioned off. Many
ended up in the service of freighting and mining firms; others made the
circus circuits around the US and Mexico. With no breeding programs in
effect, their numbers waned. By the late 1870’s, the last surviving
camels used in freighting, now aged beyond utility, were released into
the wild.

Roaming the deserts, these camels unwittingly carved themselves a niche
in American folklore. Legends of phantom camels popped up throughout
the Southwest, prominent among them that of the “Red Ghost,” which was
said to have been sighted several times with a headless corpse strapped
to its back. In 1901, members of the US-Mexico boundary commission
reported seeing a herd of wild camels in southern Arizona, which
implied that the camels had successfully bred in the American wild. In
1929, a wild camel supposedly stampeded horse herds near Banning,
California. And the final report of a wild camel came from the shores
of the Salton Sea, in far southern California, in 1941.”

“For years after the dissolution of the U.S. Camel Corps, camels
wandered at will across the American desert. Bactrians, who had been
bought and later set loose by a mining concern in British Columbia,
drifted south to Nevada and Idaho. Many Arabians roamed through Texas,
California, and Arizona. Although the last authenticated sightings of
camels in the wild occurred in the early years of this century, there
are locals who claim that the beasts thrive in remote areas to this