Thousands of camels face slaughter by helicopter marksmen after they overran an Australian town in search of water.
Around 6,000 animals will be culled in Docker River, population 350, the Northern Territory government said. Camels have been arriving daily for weeks because of drought in the region.
“The community of Docker River is under siege by 6,000 marauding camels,” local government minister Rob Knight said.
“This is a very critical situation, it's very unusual and it needs urgent action.”
The camels, which are not native to Australia but were introduced in the 1840s, have smashed water tanks, approached houses to try to take water from air conditioning units, and knocked down fencing at the airport runway.
The carcasses of camels killed |in stampedes at water storage areas are contaminating the water supply.
The government plans to use helicopters to herd the camels outside town next week, where they will be shot.