Skip to comments.Camel Hunting, The New Aboriginal Pastime
Posted on 02/10/2008 6:55:56 PM PST by blam
Camel hunting, the new Aboriginal pastime
By Nick Squires in Sydney
Last Updated: 7:05pm GMT 10/02/2008
Aborigines in Australia's arid desert interior have hit on an innovative way of tackling the boredom and substance abuse which have ravaged so many of their communities - hunting camels.
Camel hunting is the innovative new way of tackling the boredom and substance abuse which have ravaged Aboriginal communities
Where their forbears pursued traditional prey such as kangaroos and monitor lizards, the younger generation is heading into the scrub to shoot plentiful one-humped dromedaries.
The camels were introduced in the 19th century from India to haul supplies for explorers, pioneers and prospectors. They became redundant with the advent of railways and motor cars and thousands were released into the wild.
However, they adapted to Australian conditions extraordinarily well and are now considered a pest. More than a million roam the Outback, mostly in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Biologists say the population is doubling every eight years.
They are seen as a growing threat to desert ecosystems and Outback cattle properties because they foul water holes and barge through wire fences.
In the remote outpost of Kintore, a six-hour drive west of Alice Springs, Aborigine teenagers venture into the desert once a week in search of feral camels.
The camels are mostly shot by police officers, who accompany the hunting expedition
The camels are mostly shot by one of the town's three police officers, who accompany the hunting expeditions.
"The first time we went out, we got three camels - two big ones and one small one," said Farren Marks, 19, who like many young men in the community has no job and spends much of the day listening to American gangster rap music.
"It makes me happy to go out hunting because I can bring back meat for my family."
Like many isolated Aboriginal settlements, Kintore offers few jobs and almost no recreational opportunities. Boredom and frustration drive teenagers to crime, alcohol, cannabis use and petrol sniffing - a habit which can leave addicts wheelchair-bound or dead.
The camel hunting initiative started six months ago. So far around 15 animals have been shot and butchered by a shifting group of around 20 hunters, the youngest just 13.
"The young fellas are pretty good at tracking the camels," said Tom Holyoake, a white youth worker tasked with preventing substance abuse in the town of 300 people.
"When they find a camel they shoot it, butcher it, bring the meat back and share it with their families."
Despite there being so many camels, Aborigines had in the past been reluctant to hunt them because of religious beliefs.
Many older indigenous people, educated in Christian mission schools, came to regard the animals as sacred because camels bore the Three Wise Men to see baby Jesus.
"Now that [eating camel] has been approved, people grab the meat as quick as they can and go off and start cooking dinner," said Mr Holyoake.
The new weapon in the WOT.
As long as they eat the meat and don’t just collect the toes.
I’ll bet camel is tastier than lizards, by a lot!
I’ve heard camels taste like chicken. LOL!
Seriously, the camels will take over if you don’t depopulate every now and again.
Must be summertime on the beaches down under.
Keep kids from drugs, reduce the Aussie equivalent of food stamps, and maybe justify Aborigines getting guns back. Yeah, this is a great idea.
Now PAY these young men to kill the camels, instead of having the police officer do it. You won’t have any camels left in the area within a few months.
Good post Blam.
Camel on the barbie?
What does a camel look like when hit with a SMAW?
Think - pink mist.....
Turn a bunch of rednecks loose and tell them there is no limit, free BBQ sauce and discount beer. Problem solved.
Best kind too, baby camel!
I don’t you about you, but I’d walk a mile for a camel.
Camel hunting, LOL! Don’t tell the sand rats up north, they’re very fond of their camels.
The dromedaries aren't even indigenous to this part of the earth. Kind of like introducing the mongoose to kill the snakes in Hawaii. Don't mess with Mother Earth.
Don’t kill a Camel in Kuwait you will Pay around $150k not only that Camel but Future generations..
I guess to a Camel, Heaven can Kuwait. (stop me before I kill again)
My young son explained to me that camoflage was “those clothes you wear when you go hunting camels”.