Where in South Kitsap?

Gobi the camel - Tim Kelly/Staff photo
Gobi the camel
— image credit: Tim Kelly/Staff photo

Did you recognize this unlikely South Kitsap resident on the front page of the Port Orchard Independent last week?

His name is Gobi, and the two-hump camel can be seen in the pasture at Leighton Hill Horse Park along Beach Drive next to Manchester State Park.

His owner is Mandy Werbelo, who keeps several horses on her property along with another camel, Butterscotch, who’s a single-hump female.

Werbelo and her husband, Peter, have had the camels for six years. They originally bought them to use in a live nativity scene staged at Christian Life Center in Port Orchard.

But for the last several years, the church’s elaborate recreation of Bethlehem has been set up on Butterscotch and Gobi’s home turf in the Werbelos’ pasture.

The public is welcome to visit the nativity scene in December.

Mandy Werbelo said she and her husband enjoy sharing their camels with the community, and that people frequently stop on Beach Drive to take photos of Gobi and Butterscotch.

Just don’t feed them, she asks of curious visitors.

Numerous readers identified the scene; some even knew the camels’ names.

The next photograph for our new Where in South Kitsap? feature will be posted Monday at The following Friday’s newspaper will have an article explaining where the photo was taken.


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