Rifle man hurt in camel attack
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
RIFLE ” A Rifle man was attacked and severely injured by a camel on his property north of the city Monday.
Erik Kallstrom, who lives on Highway 13, was attacked while working with one of three camels he owns with his wife, Carrie Click Kallstrom. The Kallstroms both grew up in Aspen.
According to an e-mail statement from Carrie Kallstrom, Erik Kallstrom was injured during a training session with a 19-year-old bull dromedary, or one-humped camel.
According to people who are familiar with the accident and asked to remain anonymous, the camel reportedly bit, kicked and lay down on Kallstrom, who was able to extricate himself from underneath the animal. Dromedaries can weigh more than 2,000 pounds and may be taller than 10 feet.
Kallstrom was taken to the Grand River Medical Center emergency room Monday evening and was reportedly airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction because of the severity of his injuries.
According to Carrie’s statement, he is expected to make a full recovery.
The Kallstroms purchased three camels last year, and they have become familiar sights at local parades recently. The camels were purchased by the Kallstroms from a lodge near Moab, Utah, which ran camel treks.
The Kallstroms offer camel trekking through their business, C2K Camel Ranch.
According to Carrie Kallstrom’s statement, the bull camel involved in the incident was “isolated and will never be part of any activities at the C2K Camel Ranch.”
The camel tours are on hold while Erik Kallstrom recovers.
Such an attack would be out of character for a camel, according to a Fruita camel owner.
“Camels by nature are not mean at all,” said Maggie Repp, who has raised and trained camels at her ranch in Fruita for nine years. She suggested a stud or intact male camel could pose a danger to humans when in rut, or mating season. “They go into rut like an elk or deer. When they’re in rut you don’t want to bother them,” she said.
Erik Kallstrom is a longtime local resident and one-time farrier and ski instructor in the area.
Carrie Click Kallstrom is the editor of the Rifle Citizen Telegram newspaper. She has written stories about the camels she owns with Erik, some of which have been published in the Grand Junction Free Press. Both newspapers are operated by Colorado Mountain News Media.
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