A camel struggled to contain his delight after witnessing snow for the first time at his ranch home in California.
Footage of Albert the dromedary excitedly galloping across the snow-covered landscape of Rancho Grande Ojai in the Los Padres National Forest was shared to TikTok by Shelly Murad, who helps run the 200-acre fully sustainable preserve with her parents and siblings.
While the cold weather has brought joy to Albert, the video of his first encounter with snow has been busy melting hearts on social media, with the clip racking up over 3 million views and counting.
Murad told Newsweek from the moment Albert woke up that day he “immediately sensed something new and exciting” in the air.
“He started jumping up and down and he could not contain himself. He usually follows us to the back area of the ranch to help us get hay for the animals but this time he would not come with us,” she said. “He headed in the opposite direction to where the goats were staying huddled up in a barn and he started rounding them up.”
There’s something undeniably enchanting about seeing an animal experiencing something like snow for the first time. Watching cute videos of this kind could actually be a rewarding experience too.
A study conducted by academics from the University of Leeds in the U.K. found that watching 30 minutes of images and videos involving cute animals helped reduce blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety.
Albert’s adventures in the snow are adorable enough, but his antics are even more heartwarming when you learn more about how he ended up in California.
“We saw a baby camel for sale in Texas and inquired about him,” Murad said. “A veterinarian told us he was unable to feed properly from his mom so he needed day and night bottle feeding. We were up for the task and had him driven back to Ojai California the next week.”
Hanging Out With the Goats
Albert appears right at home among the other animals at the ranch, with the clip showing him leading a herd of goats around the snow. It’s a perfect example of the wonderful freedom afforded to the ranch’s one-humped resident.
“Albert is free to walk around the entire property, and visits all the animals throughout the day, but prefers to spend most of his time near the goats and the horses, probably because it’s easy to steal their food,” Murad said.
“The goats were a little scared of him at first but now they all get fed together and ruminate every day. He loves the dogs so much and tries to kiss them all over but they’re afraid of him.”
She added: “The only animal he is wary of is our pig because she nudges him out of her way. He is very intelligent and will imitate what he sees. The first time he spent time with the goats he tried to climb the hills like they did.”
Murad said most mornings at the ranch begin with Albert knocking on their door for his usual breakfast of apples and dates. She said after the initial excitement, their camel-in-residence spent the rest of the day “sunbathing in the snow.”
Boasting a history that dates back to the 1800s, Rancho Grande Ojai was purchased by Shelly’s parents, Richard and Linda Murad, in 2015 after Richard retired as CEO of Murad Skincare.
Having moved from L.A., where they lived for 25 years, the family dove head first into ranch life with Shelly’s older brother Alex serving as full-time ranch hand and tending to the animals on a daily basis.
Murad said she shared the footage of Albert online to give followers a glimpse of what their ranch life is like. It’s certainly had the desired effect.
One TikTok user wrote: “I love animal joy. It is just the most pure thing” with another commenting: “That lil happy dance at the beginning was everything.”
A third simply asked: “Is this what heaven looks like???” While a fourth said: “I am having the WORST day and this video just made it at least 40 percent better.”
The response has blown Murad and her family away.
“It’s so exciting,” she said. “We put so much love and work into the animals here. They’re all our pets and our pets alone, so it feels so amazing to give other people a chance to enjoy them.”
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