Australian camel - IMG 5196
Camels were brought to Australia in the late 19th century to work as beasts of burden, and they proved invaluable, but as society progressed and they no longer had a role to play they were simply left to roam across the vast deserts of the Australian outback. They thrived, and today there are an estimated 500,000 feral camels in Australia, and the animal in this photo was once one of them. It became a pet at the small Queensland outback settlement of Toompine - which has a population of merely two people - where it wandered around freely and was the first of the region's inhabitants to greet visitors. Sadly, since this picture was taken, the camel has died. It was poisoned by some scumbag who also poisoned many of the other pet animals owned by Toompine's human residents.