Aboriginal officials in Australia have approved the killing of up to 10,000 camels as a region battling scorching heat and a long drought deals with animals searching for water.
Officials in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in northwest South Australia agreed to the aerial cull after listening to requests for help from residents who said they saw “extremely large groups of camels and other feral animals in and around communities” in the region.
Local government official said camels and other feral – which essentially means wild, undomesticated animals – are searching for water. But camels are the primary targets of the cull. Government leaders held a board meeting on Decemver 11 to discuss the animals, and the cull was approved for Wednesday. It will last five days.
“With the current ongoing dry conditions, the large camel congregations threatening the APY communities and infrastructure, immediate camel control is needed,” the government body stated in release. The APY Lands is a roughly 39,768-square-mile expanse of arid land. The area is roughly three times as big as England and the camels are causing devastation.
Camels have caused significant damage to infrastructure, danger to families and communities and that some of the camels have died of thirst or trampled one another trying to get to water. There are an estimated 1 million feral camels in Australia, and the population is growing at a rate of 8% a year.