Back in the 1900s, 20,000 camels were specially imported to Australia from the Indian subcontinent, and since then they have become feral, which means that they have become wild and uncontrollable after escape from domestication. The population of camels doubles every 10 years.
The camels have somewhat become a huge problem for locals as they freely roam the streets searching for water. They have damaged walls and houses in order to grab a sip from people’s air coolers or supplies of domestic animals. The locals fear the safety of their children. The scene is pretty much like gangsters basking the streets looking for victims to bully, only this time they are camels!
Australia has faced drought for several years and the struggles were multiplied with the recent bushfires and the vast destruction they caused. And since the climate keeps getting warmer thanks to global warming, the future scares Australia with further bushfires.
Camels also release huge amounts of methane gas, which adds up to the troublesome greenhouse effect. All these problems caused by the camels have forced the authorities to take action.
From Wednesday, a five-day program has begun in which sniper fire from helicopters is used to finish off the animals. The exercise is precisely taking place in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara in the south of Australia and up to 10,000 camels have been rounded up. Aerial marksmen riding in two Robinson R44 four-seat light helicopters are culling the animals and their carcasses will be burnt.
Isn’t this two-faced approach to animals unfair? On one side, koalas are being cuddled and given water while on the other side, these camels are being shot down? If they were once imported, surely they can be exported rather than being finished off? The people of APY used to sell these camels first, but now that they can’t afford to keep them, tame them and care for them so they have agreed to have them shot? Also, if they release harmful gases, is burning their carcasses expected to release heavenly perfumes? Surely the authorities who have allowed this inhumane mass massacre of innocent wildlife could come up with better solutions for the camels’ feral behavior.
Sources: The Indian Express, BBC News.
Aniqa Mazhar is a graduate of QAU in Biochemistry. She has taught sciences to O levels and is currently planning for her MS in Food Technology. Aniqa’s hobbies are reading, watching movies, writing, calligraphy, long walks, and nature photography.