by Guest Writers Suzie Cheel and Des Walsh
Camel rides were a popular feature of the kite festival at local Kirra Beach, Queensland, last weekend. In the 19th century thousands of camels were imported to Australia to help with the colonization of less hospitable parts of the country, mainly in central and northern Australia. Then with the arrival of motor transportation, the camels were released into the wild.
They multiplied. So the very accommodating and apparently docile animals in the picture have a great many wilder cousins in Australian central desert regions. An interesting factoid for a trivia quiz is that, with over one million camels now roving free – and estimated to double every nine years – Australia has the largest feral camel population in the world.