Camel Girl – The Real Story of Ella Harper

Ella Harper the camel girl

We are surrounded by amazing people and things, and often come across stories of Unbelievable People who besides their disability have faced the difficulties of life head-on and they are indeed inspiring. There may be people you’ve never seen before and you won’t believe they are real. One such person is Ella Harper or better known as the Camel Girl. She is one of those unique people you would see in a Circus or a Freak Show as it used to be called.


Life is stranger than Fiction

Life is stranger than Fiction they say. In this era, we cannot differentiate between real and fake due to the various photo editing tools we have access to. In this post, we show you a picture which may look fake but is real to its core, just like some animals, which look out of this world.

Ella Harper/ Camel Girl posing for a picture on all four limbs.
The Camel Girl

Who was Ella Harper aka the Camel Girl?

A beautiful girl with a sweet smile. But what made her part of a Circus, you may ask? The reason was her strange appearance, which gave her the stage name “Camel Girl”.

She was suffering from a strange illness. Born in 1870, her stage name was the Camel Girl. Her strange appearance was due to a rare orthopedic condition called  congenital genu recurvatum , which made her knees bend backward. Due to the condition she preferred to walk on all fours, and hence the name.

At the mere age of 12, she joined the W. H. Harris’s Nickel Plate Circus and was part of it until 1886. Ella earned $ 200 a week.

At the age of 16, she left the circus and began to study.

Camel Girl’s Life after Circus

In 1905, Robert L. Savely, a Public School Teacher married her. A daughter was born to them in 1906, named Mabel Savely who died as an infant at just 5 months of age. Later on she adopted a newborn baby girl at the age of 48, but the baby girl also died at the age of 3 months.

Death of the Camel Girl

After so many tragedies in her life, she succumbed to death due to Colon Cancer in 1921. Now she lies peacefully next to her children in Nashville, Tennessee.

We can just imagine, how tough her life could have been with her condition. From a very young age, she was objectified and criticized for her strange look.

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