More than 5,000 wild camels are reportedly killed, mainly by snipers and helicopter snipers, in fire-ravaged South Australia, according to an AFP press release. These wild herds of non-native animals are in fact devastating the indigenous communities already affected by the drought caused by the huge fires that are developing in recent weeks.

Aboriginal people would suffer most from these wandering herds of camels which, we recall, are not native to Australia but have been imported by humans over the past centuries. Precisely because of the extreme heat produced by the fires, these animals are migrating from one area to another in search of water, damaging the water infrastructure but also proving to be a real danger to vehicle drivers.

Despite the concerns announced by activists and animal rights activists, sniper teams have continued to shoot down these animals, which are now considered to be real parasites introduced into an environment that is not theirs. In addition to consuming huge amounts of precious water for the locals, especially the native groups, these camels often die right near the Water Sources.

This means that their bodies are rotting and irreparably pollute the water sources themselves, making them no longer usable not only by humans but also by other animals, especially birds. And the prolonged drought is only making this situation so much worse that mass culling has proved to be the only solution, although it may seem the most brutal.

Camels in Australia were introduced around 1840 as they were considered very useful for exploring the vast inland areas of this continent. Camels in fact adapt very well to the heat and very dry regions of the Australian outback. Over the following decades, tens of thousands of camels were imported, which naturally reproduced and over time multiplied in some ways without control.

Julie Smith

I am a journalist with extensive experience working with different organizations in Kentucky, starting out as an editor with The Paducah Sun and later joining The Louisville Times. I am very happy to have joined Elakhbary News as a volunteer contributor, and submit research and content during my spare time. I am a long term subscriber to Nature and Scientific American, and frequently read up on new scientific research.

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Julie Smith