The terrible fires that keep devastating a large part of Australia have contributed to the worst drought ever seen in the country.
Over half a billion animals have died, thousands of people had to be evacuated, over 25 people were killed, and huge portions of the land have been destroyed in the raging flames.
Due to the drought that affected South Australia, up to 10,000 camels are scheduled to be shot from helicopters on Wednesday, “in accordance with the highest standards of animal welfare”, to stop them from drinking too much water.
The culling is believed to take about five days, and it will be conducted by professional shooters after Aboriginal leaders in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands (AYP) order them.
APY’s General Manager Richard King said that the number of camels being targeted in the cull was between 5,000 and 10,000, adding that it ” is only 1% of what is currently destroying the fragile Australian [fauna] and flora.”
Moreover, a small number of wild horses will be targeted in the kill as well.
The entire decision was a result of the complaints of locals that camels were looking for any available water source, including tanks and taps in properties.
According to officials, “extremely large groups of camels and other feral animals… are putting pressure on the remote Aboriginal communities in the APY Lands. With the current ongoing dry conditions the large camel congregations threatening the APY communities and infrastructure, camel control is needed.”
Marita Baker, an executive board member of APY, stated:
“We have been stuck in stinking hot and uncomfortable conditions, feeling unwell, because the camels are coming in and knocking down fences, getting in around the houses and trying to get to water through air conditioners.”
A spokesperson for the South Australia Department of Environment and Water said that the sharp increase to the country’s 1.2 million camels led to many issues in the area:
“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.
“In some cases, dead animals have contaminated important water sources and cultural sites.”
The carcasses of the camels will be left to dry off before being buried or burned.
As soon as this was publicly announced, netizens took to social media to express their anger and concerns, claiming that the horrible bushfires have already killed too many animals and plants in Australia.