Merry Christmas From Clyde, Our Favorite Camel


  • Jeremy Lanningham
Somehow, it just wouldn't be Christmas without checking in with our favorite camel, Clyde.

Three Christmases ago, Clyde was a Boise Weekly "Citizen" when we visited his Nampa digs. His "parents," Gary and Renae Drake, transport Clyde in a makeshift wagon to dozens of holiday events each year, including a pretty popular live nativity scene at the Eagle Seventh-day Adventist Church.

For the record, Clyde weighs about a ton and is 8 feet tall at the shoulder and up to 14 feet tall to the head. He grazes in the Drakes' Nampa pasture, but only eats a third of what a horse might eat, despite the fact that he's twice as big. He's 13 years old and, with any luck, he could survive into his 40s.

"He's part of the family," Renae Drake told Boise Weekly, who added that a lot of kids consider the Drakes to be Clyde's parents. "We'll be shopping and some child will say, 'Look, there's Clyde's mommy and daddy.'"

Yes, he's particularly gentle with children.

"I took Clyde across the street to a subdivision once so the kids could say hello," said Gary Drake. "And there was a little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old—she was riding hell-bent for election on her tricycle and she couldn't stop. Clyde just looked at her, spread his legs and let her ride her tricycle right under him. He didn't bat an eyelash."