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Far from home, a Somali camel herder finds a new calling

Bob Strong / Reuters

Somali camel herder Ali Abdullahi Hassan, 40, talks to three Bactrian camels after taking them for a ride near the rural town of Gyttorp, Sweden on March 3.

When Ali Abdullahi Hassan left his homeland, Somalia, his days as a camel herder looked to be over. But in the snows of Sweden he has found a job tending to three domesticated Bactrian camels, themselves native to the steppes of central Asia.

Bob Strong / Reuters

Ali takes the camels for a ride through the snowy countryside near the rural town of Gyttorp on March 3.

Hassan emigrated to Sweden in 2007 and had been working at odd jobs until a relative told him of a local couple who needed help tending to their pet camels. Now Hassan takes care of the three animals, Kalle, Anna and their son Karlsson, training them to carry riders and singing songs to them in Arabic.

Bob Strong / Reuters

Ali commands the camels to lay down after taking them for a ride on March 3.