Getting the hump

Where can a camel get a drink these days? That’s the increasingly urgent question on the minds of hundreds of the creatures which have migrated from desert regions to Western Australian watering stations in the Northern Goldfields area of Western Australia.

Prompted to flight from their traditional home by a severe drought, the camels have been unwittingly wreaking havoc as they seek to slake their thirst. One recent stampede of 200 of them was reported to have destroyed vital water infrastructure at a watering hole near the town of Laverton.

One observer at the scene told ABC News: “We do get the influx of camels coming in; smaller mobs, 10 to 20 camels, but this [the drought] has brought a lot more in and they were like bags of bones and all the hair was falling off and they were terrible and they’d been through a long perish.”

Locals have been calling on the government for long-term solutions to the problem. However, in the battle to avoid more infrastructure destruction in the short term, there are two solutions – one of which spells good news for the camels and one bad. The good news? Heavy rainfall is forecast. The bad news? A cull is being considered.