10,000 camels will be killed this week in Australia for drinking too much water
There are approximately 1.2 million feral camels living in Australia. Aboriginal leaders in Australia have approved the culling of non-indigenous species as they are posing a danger to native human populations that are currently fighting to survive droughts and heatwaves that are occurring due to climate change. Professional snipers began shooting more than 10,000 camels this week from the sky in the remote area of South Australia.
The current bushfires across New South Wales and Victoria are causing water shortages and the cull is being described as an ‘urgent response to threats posed to communities by an increase in the number of feral camels, and some feral horses due to drought and extreme heat’. It has been reported that thousands of camels are moving into communities looking for water and are causing significant damage to the infrastructure and housing creating serious safety hazards.
Camels are not native to the region and were first introduced in the 1800’s by colonialists that exploited the animals for use in transport and construction. The APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) is a local government for the Indigenous Australians and with the population of camels widespread and with record heatwaves and droughts, they are now competing with the APY’s indigenous populations for water.
The hunting of camels on APY lands began yesterday and will continue for five days. Some feral horses will also be killed according the BBC. The APY lands are about the size of Kentucky, and are home to roughly 2300 people according to CNN. The camel carcasses will be left to dry off before they are burned or buried.
To date, it is estimated that almost half a billion animal have perished in the fires, with some species likely extinct.