• Monday, Sep 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Snipers to cull up to 10,000 camels in drought-stricken Australia

  • Published at 10:09 am January 8th, 2020
AUSTRALIA-FIRES-ANIMAL-WILDLIFE
A general view shows burnt trees along the Great Alpine road in an area devastated by bushfires in Sarsfield, Victoria state on January 3, 2020 AFP

The five-day cull in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands is the first in the state

Snipers took to helicopters in Australia on Wednesday to begin a mass cull of up to 10,000 camels as drought drives big herds of the feral animals to search for water closer to remote towns, endangering indigenous communities.

Local officials in South Australia state said "extremely large" herds have been encroaching on rural communities -- threatening scarce food and drinking water, damaging infrastructure, and creating a dangerous hazard for drivers.

It comes after Australia experienced its hottest and driest year on record in 2019, with the severe drought causing some towns to run out of water and fuelling deadly bushfires that have devastated the country's southeast.

The five-day cull in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands -- home to about 2,300 indigenous people in the north-west of South Australia -- is the first in the state, local media reported.

"These (camel) groups are putting pressure on the remote Aboriginal communities in the APY Lands and the pastoral operations as the camels search for water," the APY Lands executive committee said in a statement.

South Australia's environment department, which is supporting the aerial cull, said the drought had also created "critical animal welfare issues" as some camels have died of thirst or trampled each other as they rush to find water.

"In some cases dead animals have contaminated important water sources and cultural sites," a spokesperson added.

Camels were first introduced to Australia in the 1840s to aid in the exploration of the continent's vast interior, with up to 20,000 imported from India in the six decades that followed.

Australia is now thought to have the largest wild camel population in the world, with official estimates suggesting more than one million are roaming the country's inland deserts.

The animals are considered a pest, as they foul water sources and trample native flora while foraging for food over vast distances each day.

Traditional owners in the APY Lands have for years mustered and sold off feral camels but more recently they have "been unable to manage the scale and number of camels that congregate in dry conditions," according to the environment department.

As a result, "up to 10,000 camels will be destroyed in accordance with the highest standards of animal welfare," it added.

Public broadcaster ABC reported the animals would be killed away from communities and the carcasses burned.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail