Nearly 10 years after Australian camels (and their methane emissions) were identified as a factor in climate change, 10,000 of the country’s wild dromedaries now face a slaughter.
The cull, which was scheduled to start Wednesday, comes as part of an effort to help conditions in fire-ravaged Australia.
According to the Independent, the camels are drinking up valuable water and exacerbating the country’s drought.
Citing The Australian, the outlet also noted that the camels are being slaughtered over their greenhouse gas contributions.
— The Australian (@australian) January 6, 2020
The animals have become a major nuisance in their never-ending search for water. They often trample fences and wreak havoc in their pursuit of even the smallest amount of moisture.
Camels in Australia have few predators, so they are able to reproduce and eat native vegetation practically unchecked.
Professional sharpshooters are expected to eliminate the 10,000 camels, which are not a species native to Australia.
Shooting camels to help slow climate change isn’t a new idea.
According to an NPR report from the faraway year of 2011, a single camel can produce greenhouse gasses equivalent to over a ton of carbon dioxide.
Even then, the solution was to gun down the animals.
The welfare of the camels themselves was another reason given for the cull. The animals are so numerous that their death by trampling or thirst is not uncommon.
Camels were first imported to Australia by explorers and pioneers. The animal’s hardy constitution and adaptation to dry conditions made it an invaluable transportation and pack animal in the arid outback.
Celebrating hump day with an orange or two – as you do! ?
— Australia (@Australia) February 13, 2019
Although the 2011 report suggested that over a million camels could be killed to ease the environmental pressure, the 10,000 that will be culled represents only a fraction of that.
It remains to be seen if the slaughter will help Australia’s drought or have any impact on world temperature.
Killing camels to save polar bears — now there’s a thought.
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