Dancing camel helps raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children

Sir Gus gives out kisses for carrots, donations

ORLANDO, Fla. – A few weeks ago, News 6 showed you a video with what seemed to be a dancing camel going down State Road 408.

Anchor Matt Austin came across the unique scene, and soon, the video went viral, as all of Central Florida was talking about the "dancing" camel.

That camel has a name and a purpose. Sir Gus Jr. is an 18-year-old camel who's been delighting not just kids, but adults, too, at charity events.
"He's an AC/DC fan, to be honest with you. He's dancing, but it's really him balancing himself back and forth as the bus goes down the road," Randy Morgan, president of Bahia Shrine Center, in Florida said. 

He's an ambassador for Bahia Shrine Center, the nonprofit organization in Central Florida that supports Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Morgan said the events Sir Gus attends aim to promote and raise funds for Shriners' children's hospitals.

So how is this lovable camel getting results? By puckering up in exchange for a carrot treat.

"He's just a handsome boy. That's all there is to it ... I mean, you know, where else do you get to work with a camel?" Morgan said.

The money helps pay medical bills for children with specific medical conditions.
"Regardless of what their ability to pay, (it) doesn't cost them a dime," Morgan said.
Shriners Hospitals for Children has 19 orthopedic centers and three burn hospitals across the country, including in Florida.

One of those helped was a 12-year-old boy who had been badly burned in a 2007 plane crash in Sanford. He was treated at a burn center, where he received skin grafts and went though rehabilitation all at no cost to his family.
"I think it cost around $10 million for the Shriners to do all that," Morgan said. "They didn't have to pay for anything, and that's why we're Shriners, because that's what we do for the kids. We don't do this for anything else."
Shriners Hospitals also provide care for children born with cleft lips and cleft palates.

There are currently over 2,500 kids being treated by Shriners Hospitals in Tampa.

On May 4 and 5, the Shriner circus event will be taking place at Osceola Heritage Park and Sir Gus Jr. will be there ready to give out kisses for carrots.

It is important to note that kids can give him his carrot treat with their hands -- only adults can do it with a quick kiss.

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