Animals Video

By Kirstie Sutheran

Thousands of flies are captured swarming an unfortunate camel while they desperately hunt for water.

The sinister sight was captured in Australia in the Western Simpson Desert after a period of extensive rainfall.

Andrew Harper, 53, an explorer and took the video while running a camel tour for Outback Camel Company.


He said: “We had stopped for a break and the flies had been very thick all morning. It’s not unusual to have a few flies about but it’s quite rare to see them this thick. 

“There were thousands all over the saddle, mostly on the dark colours such as the camera bag. 

“There were very few flies on the actual camel itself. Most of these flies are female with a ratio of about three females to one male. 

“They are all looking for moisture and hence protein with the females seeking the extra protein for breeding.

“There had been quite extensive rainfall in this part of the desert fringe which is also a cattle station. 

“The cattle had followed the subsequent fresh feed and the flies follow the cattle. And of course the flies are waiting for the cattle to poo. 


“The warmer than usual temperatures (it’s almost winter here) have also created perfect conditions for an explosion in fly numbers.

“Bush flies are common all over Australia especially in summer but the sheer numbers of flies sitting on this saddle is unusual. 

“This infestation lasted about 10 days, but now that the cooler weather has set in, and temperatures are between 0 and 10 at night, the fly population has been severely curtailed.

“Initially I was quite surprised that there were so many, but mainly intrigued how the different colours attracted different quantities of flies.”

“Most Aussies look at it with a degree of acceptance, as we are mostly used to it. But people from overseas are horrified that there are so many, and feel a bit sorry for the camels. 

“Suffice to say, the camels weren’t too perturbed by the event.”