According to reports, Australian officials have decided to shoot 10,000 camels in the drought-afflicted region of South Australia to prevent them from “drinking too much water”.
According to a report by The Independent, the decision was announced after the locals complained of the animals entering communities in search of water and creating a ruckus. In conversation with The Australian, Marita Baker, a board member of the APY executive said, “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.”
This decision comes at a time when the country is suffering from its worst and unprecedented wildlife crises following the countrywide bush fires, fueled by record temperatures and widespread drought. According to a report by the ecologists at the University of Sydney, nearly 18 million acres of land have been burned, impacting nearly half a billion animals across the region, with millions potentially dead across Australia.
While the animals continue to remain along the front lines as the primary sufferers of the tragedy, the Australian officials have reportedly also cited “concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions” as another reason for culling the animals. According to report, the rampant increase of the animal’s population, which nearly doubles every eight to ten years, has also led to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. “One million camels are equivalent of having 4,00,000 more cars on the roads,” said Tim Moore, Chief Executive of carbon farming specialists RegenCo to a newspaper.
The operation to control the camel population will span over a total of five days starting from Wednesday. This will be led by the leaders in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. The camel population would double every nine years if stringent measures aren’t taken, National Feral Camel Management Plan claimed.