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Hero Camel Sacrifices Life For Family When Killed By Driver On Cell Phone

Sheba the camel enjoyed chill walks. (Photo by rickydvia Shutterstock)
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A 2,000 pound camel named Sheba, who was a ubiquitous and beloved neighborhood presence, was killed by the driver of a pickup truck this week.

Sheba, a regular presence in Agua Dulce—a rural, horseback riding community northeast of Santa Clarita—was walking with her owner Robin Orefice on Thursday evening along Agua Dulce Road, as they often did, when they saw a Toyota pickup truck speeding towards them, reports the L.A. Times.

Orefice and her son Sam tried to stop the driver by shouting and waving their arms, but to no avail. The truck sped towards them and barreled into Sheba, who had maneuvered in front of her owners, seemingly on purpose, and shielded Orefice and Sam against the silver Toyota Tacoma. The 25-year-old driver of the pickup was speeding, said the California Highway Patrol, and the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reports that the driver was on his cellphone at the time of the collision.

While the truck was significantly damaged by the impact of the crash, Sheba's injuries were comparatively much, much worse; her legs and right shoulder were severe, and Orefice said she was forced to put Sheba out of her misery.

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Sheba was often seen strolling along the dusty dirty roads, or at local fundraising events; she was slated to appear at the Agua Dulce County Fair today. Robin's husband Michael Orefice told the L.A. Times, "Everyone in town knows the camel."

Orefice said she spent years training Sheba, and eventually won her trust and respect—so much so, that she was actually able to ride her. “It’s hard with a camel,” Orefice said. “It takes a lot to build trust, but you just love on them.”

R.I.P., Sheba, the hero camel of Agua Dulce.