Over 10,000 Australian camels to be shot from helicopters because they drink too much water

Ted Hennessey
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Over 10,000 camels will be shot from helicopters to stop them drinking water in drought ravaged South Australia.

Professional shooters will move in on Wednesday, after orders from Aboriginal leaders in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands (AYP).

The culling, expected to take about five days, follows complaints from locals about animals looking for any available water source, including tanks and taps in properties.

There are also fears over the animals contributing to global warming through methane emissions equivalent to a tonne of carbon dioxide a year - the same as an additional 400,000 cars on the road.

Marita Baker, an executive board member of APY told, The Australian: "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."

There has been a sharp rise to the country's 1.2 million camels, and a spokesperson for the South Australia Department of Environment and Water attributed the increase to problems in the region.

The spokesperson told news.com.au: “This has resulted in significant damage to infrastructure, danger to families and communities, increased grazing pressure across the APY Lands and critical animal welfare issues as some camels die of thirst or trample each other to access water.

“In some cases dead animals have contaminated important water sources and cultural sites.”

Their carcasses will be left to dry off before they are burned or buried, ABC news reported.