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Australia fires: Thousands of camels being slaughtered

January 9, 2020 10:27 am
Thousands of camels in South Australia will be shot dead from helicopters as a result of extreme heat and drought.

Thousands of camels in South Australia will be shot dead from helicopters as a result of extreme heat and drought.

A five-day cull started on Wednesday, as Aboriginal communities in the region have reported large groups of camels damaging towns and buildings.

“They are roaming the streets looking for water. We are worried about the safety of the young children”, says Marita Baker, who lives in the community of Kanypi.

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Some feral horses will also be killed.

The marksmen who will shoot the animals come from Australia’s department for environment and water.

The slaughter will take place in the area of Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) – a sparsely-populated part of South Australia which is home to a number of indigenous groups.

Hot and dry conditions have led to huge bush fires across Australia in the last few months, but the country’s drought has lasted for years.

Camels aren’t native to Australia – they were brought over by British settlers from India, Afghanistan and the Middle East in the 19th century.

Estimates of numbers of camels vary but there are thought to be hundreds of thousands of them across the central parts of the country.

They can damage fences, farm equipment, and settlements, and also drink water which is needed by people who live there.

They also emit methane, a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.

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