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What You Need to Know About the 10,000 Camels in Australia

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The news has been spreading across the internet like wildfire. Headlines have been posted hundreds of times that 'snipers will shoot more than 10,000 camels in Australia.' The headline alone is enough to make any animal lover gasp, but some are misleading. Australian officials report that there is a real need to cull the herds of camels, as distasteful as it may be.

First, this is not a random slaughter of camels. The animals are causing a major problem as drought and fire sweeps across Australia, due to their problematic water consumption. Richard King, general manager of APY, stated:

“The dire situation is compounded by dry conditions, animal welfare issues, threats to communities, scarce water supplies, health and environmental impacts, the destruction of country, loss of food supplies and endangerment of travellers on the Stuart Highway and across the APY Lands. Given ongoing dry conditions and the large camel congregations threatening all of the main APY communities and infrastructure, immediate camel control is needed.”

It's important to note that the camels are feral, not pets, and not native wildlife. Camels came to Australia sometime in the late 19th century, but are classified as non-native, and are even considered a pest. Currently, there are approximately 1.2 million feral camels in Australia, so the 5,000-10,000 camel cull only accounts for, at most, 0.83% of the feral population. Essentially, it's a grave and difficult decision that will help alleviate pressure on much needed water sources.

Photo: Paulbr75/ Pixabay