About 10,000 Camels and some horses are to be shot dead from helicopters in South Australia. The cull started on Wednesday the 8th of January 2020 and will last for 5 days. The area of Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) will be targeted. This is a sparsely populated area with just a few indigenous communities. The main reason given is due to the severe draught and hot weather that South Australia has been experiencing. Its claimed that groups of feral camels are going into small towns and villages in search of water. The groups of camels are causing damage to property and apparently posing a danger to people.
There is probably less sympathy towards the camels from the authorities because camels are not native to Australia. The camel was introduced to Australia in the late 1800 hundreds and early 1900 hundreds when British explorers needed a way of getting around the continent. Its believed that around 20,000 single hump camels were introduced at that time. They were ideally suited to the harsh climate of the outback in Australia, they had stamina and strength and could go long periods without water. The camels were used for decades carrying telegraph poles and railway sleepers, tea and tobacco. By the 1930’s when the combustion engines were introduced the camels were no longer needed. With the camel being so suited to the environment they flourished in the wild, their numbers grew year-on-year. There are now hundreds of thousands of feral camels roaming the outback of Australia.
Australian bushfire rages on
The Camel Cull occurs as the Australian bushfires rage on with no end in sight. The fires have been devastating the landscape for weeks with hot dry weather and strong winds acting as a catalyst. Well over 30,000 square miles have been effected with the loss of 25 human lives and around 2000 homes. Perhaps the biggest tragedy is the loss of animal life, it’s been estimated that around half a billion animals have died during the fires. The animals have either burned to death or died due to lack of food and habitat. Such is the scale of the fires that the smoke has reached as far as South America leading to hazardous air quality. Sooty deposits had already been reported on glaciers in New Zealand potentially accelerating the rate at which they melt.
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