Melbourne, April 24 :
The once useful Australian camels that helped the country establish its modern infrastructure are now regarded as “humped pests” and culled on a large scale, says a study.
Australian camels exemplify the idea of “animals out of place”, said Sarah Crowley from the University of Exeter in Britain.
Extreme measures including shooting them with rifles from helicopters are being taken to reduce the population of camels in Australia, contended Crowley.
“Reports estimate there are upwards of a million free-ranging camels in Australia and predict that this number could double every eight years,” she wrote.
“As their population burgeons, camels encroach more frequently upon human settlements and agricultural lands, raising their media profile and increasing local animosity toward them,” Crowley stated.
The camel was first brought to Australia in the 1800s when the country was in the midst of a flurry of colonial activity.
They were then regarded as useful mode of transport, but with the advancements of motorised transport modes, people are now considering them as “invaders”, “ravaging” and “marauding”.
The article appeared in the journal Anthrozoös.