More than 10,000 camels in Australia to be shot because they drink too much water
Up to 10,000 camels will be executed due to the horrific bushfires and droughts spreading across Australia, amidst complaints that they are drinking way too much water.
The shootings will begin Wednesday and will last about five days.
Aboriginal officials from the northwest region of the province of South Australia stated that wild animals are endangering the local population struggling with water shortages due to a massive drought. In a statement delivered on Monday, they said they are planning to shoot and kill camels in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.
Officials stated that “extremely large groups of camels and other feral animals are putting pressure on the remote Aboriginal communities in the APY Lands.” They added that these animals are threatening the survival of the community by consuming their depleted water and food resources while also endangering travelers.
According to the statement:
“With the current ongoing dry conditions the large camel congregations threatening the APY communities and infrastructure, camel control is needed”
Please see Urgent and Important Notice re Feral Animal Kill across the APY Lands
APY Lands manager Richard King revealed to CBS News that 5,000 to 10,000 will be executed, with the intention of protecting people and plant life.
“This number is only 1% of what is currently destroying the fragile Australian [fauna] and flora,” he revealed on Tuesday.
The Department for Environment and Water said that around 10,000 camels are gathering to drink at tanks, taps and any other available water sources in local communities.
“This has resulted in significant damage to infrastructure, danger to families and communities, increased grazing pressure across the APY Lands and critical animal welfare issues as some camels die of thirst or trample each other to access water,” a spokesperson said. “In some cases dead animals have contaminated important water sources and cultural sites.”
The animals will be hunted with helicopters provided by the state DEA, “in accordance with the highest standards of animal welfare.” Some of the dead camels will not be moved, but those that are within reach will be buried or burnt as per The Australian.
Australia is home to around 1 million camels, according to The 2010 National Feral Camel Management Plan.
The number was expected to double in the next eight to ten years if it was not managed.
Camels are of course not the only creatures whose lives are threatened due to the drought and ongoing bushfires, which have burned down entire towns and stranded thousands of people and animals.
Numerous pictures and video footage of thirsty animals – including kangaroos and koalas – coming to people for water have exploded on the web over the last few months. More than one billion animals are estimated to have died since the bushfires started in September.
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Some Australian regions have been subject to unimaginable heat waves in recent weeks. Last December, the country experienced its hottest day on record, with average temperatures going up to 105.6 degrees (Farhenheit) nationwide.
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