USA

Hump day in Russia: Dozens of camels now terrorizing towns

Southwestern Russia is stuck in a hump daze.

A large group of deranged camels has been terrorizing local villagers in Russia’s Astrakhan region after a pensioner released them onto the surrounding steppe.

The 80-strong coven of camels have broken pipes, fences, vandalized gravestones and gardens and chased villagers in the towns of Oranzherei, Fyodorovka, and Ninovka for months since they were let loose by 83-year-old Yuri Serebryakov — with some residents now too scared to leave their homes.

Local district head Natalya Butuzova told TASS news agency (via the BBC) the camel invasion has terrified townspeople while Yelena Bakhtemyeva told Interfax news agency the camels have become “really aggressive” since giving birth in the spring.

“If you look one directly in the eyes, the animal chases you, and you have to run away,” Bakhtemyeva said.

Valentina Malikova from Fyodorovka told Rossiya 1 TV she has to keep guard over her pear trees at night lest they are eaten.

“[At first] there were about seven of them walking around, then those disappeared,” she said. “But now there are at least 57 here, and I don’t know when it will stop.”

Meanwhile, the RIA Novosti news agency reported instances of the camels vandalizing gravestones in local cemeteries.

Astrakhan Region prosecutor’s office confirmed that it had received a “collective appeal” from the residents, but said the information needed to be verified before any action could be taken.

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