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Home News Stories from the Turnpike Not Your Ordinary Day on the Farm

“I never thought I’d hold a camel. Never in my life,” PA Turnpike Director of Maintenance John DelRicci said.

But that’s exactly the kind of thing that happens when you step up to help others – the unexpected and the wonderful. 

DelRicci’s wife, Sarah, runs the Parkwood Therapeutic Riding Center in Newtown, Bucks County, where children with disabilities can ride and connect with horses. Jan. 22 started off as a typical Sunday on the farm for the DelRiccis, until they got an urgent call from the owners of the nearby Rose Bridge Farm and Sanctuary. 

A mother camel at the sanctuary had just given birth, and the calf’s leg had been injured in the process, DelRicci explained. The sanctuary needed someone with a horse trailer who could haul the exotic animals to a specialized veterinary clinic about 45 minutes away – stat. 

“It’s just like what we do at the Turnpike. When someone needs help, we jump at the chance to step up,” DelRicci said. “Good people do good things and stepping up to help is what we do.” 

The DelRiccis and their kids -- Eva, JT and Rocco -- brought their trailer to the sanctuary and, for the first time in their lives, they interacted with camels. 

“I never realized how big camels are,” DelRicci said. 

Or how nice and sweet they can be. 

He was able to hold the giant, baby camel, and even though the mother camel had just given birth and was protective of the baby, the DelRiccis were still able to keep her calm and lead her into their trailer to take her and the other camels to the New Bolton Center large animal clinic in Chester County. 

After an examination and a leg wrap for the baby, the camels – four in all -- got a clean bill of health, and the DelRiccis returned them to their home at the sanctuary. 

It was a full day, but it was an experience the family of animal lovers will never forget. 

There’s something about animals, after all, that brings out the best in us, DelRicci said. 

“Maybe it opens your heart up,” DelRicci said. “People seem to have a nicer manner about themselves when they’re around animals.” 

And, just maybe, they can inspire us to lend a helping hand.