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Camels to the rescue

Camel St. Bernards to rescue people in the desert
  [vote for,

St Bernards are allegedly used in the Alps to rescue (or at least comfort) those trapped in the snow. Why not use camels to do the same thing in the desert? Get well-trained camels to go out searching for people in the desert while they carry a container of water and some food. Even better, equip the camel with a seat so the stranded person can ride the camel back to civilization. You could also put a GPS tracking device on the Camel as well, so that if the person's injured, the exact location can be found. Camels need hardly any water and their sense of smell is pretty good. It's worth a shot, especially in the Sahara or the Australian outback. You don't even need rescuers to be riding the camel.
dodgykransky, Mar 15 2004


       "Get well-trained camels"...
MikeOliver, Mar 15 2004

       All the camels would have to do is pick up the scent of any people in the area and be trained to walk towards it. Camels aren't dumbarses (i think). If they can be trained as beasts of burden, I reckon they can be used to find people as well. I'm sure some Arabian guy can do the job of training the camels quite nicely.
dodgykransky, Mar 15 2004

       Ah, so they'd be trained specifically, as opposed to brought in ready trained from the camel training grounds... in that case +!
MikeOliver, Mar 15 2004

       And a brandy sniffer.
FarmerJohn, Mar 15 2004

       Oh. aql-i kulli. I think a falcon trained to drop its GPS locator, followed by a medivac helicopter, would be a better option.
dpsyplc, Mar 15 2004

       //Camels aren't dumbarses//   

       Wrong. And lazy.
Native Dancer, Mar 15 2004

       Good word--you made me use dictionary.com.
yabba do yabba dabba, Mar 16 2004

       Perhaps the camels could be trained to look for vultures. That would lead them to lost people, and also dead things. Or just cut the camels out of the equation and have rescue vultures. They could use their vulturely powers to help people, instead of just pecking kittens and getting hit by cars.
bungston, Mar 16 2004

       is it International Rescue Day and no-one told me?
po, Mar 16 2004

       <Terry Pratchett Name of Camel>You Bastard</TPNOC>
gnomethang, Mar 16 2004

       I thought the people are supposed to be rescuing the condor vultures.
FarmerJohn, Mar 16 2004

       Think of it this way - if you were out looking for some crazy British backpacker bent on trecking across Australia with only a litre of water and a swiss army knife, you can either spend millions of dollars with aeroplanes covering literally millions of square kilometres of desert, or you could send in a couple of camels to track the fool down, which doesn't cost a lot of money. Yes, camels are 'cantankerous' (I prefer to use the term irascible), but its either camels or really high-tec robots. Australians get really pissed off when tourists think they can trek across the desert and they ultimately get lost. The government ends up paying the army to go and find the guy (if he's not already dead). We may as well send some camels out there instead. Ostray'a doesn't have vultures either.
dodgykransky, Mar 17 2004

       Also, do I sense some anti-camel sentiment around here? Shame on you.
dodgykransky, Mar 17 2004

       I think it was that guy trying to selling camel meet that soured the market.
FarmerJohn, Mar 17 2004

       Quite possibly...we Australians had some trouble with live sheep exporting to Pakistan. Just coz some crazy sheep had mouth disease meant that we had to give Eritrea one million dollars just to get rid of them. Anyway, camels really do have a good sense of smell. Not sure how difficult it is to train them however. They are moody...
dodgykransky, Mar 17 2004

       Doesn't Australia already have enough of a headache with alien species without introducing more?
saker, Mar 17 2004

       Too late - we've already got camels (introduced a hundred years ago, now there's around half a million if I'm not mistaken). One or two more won't hurt much. This is why vultures aren't a good idea - we don't actually have them. We have wedged-tail eagles instead, now THAT'S a bird.
dodgykransky, Mar 17 2004

       I know you've got camels. They're everywhere these days. I was meaning the vultures, or anything else, which would become the new rabbits, sparrows etc. Oz's problems with alien species are well documented. Actually, the sparrow thing was mentioned by [UnaBubba] recently on another idea. Exactly what type of sparrow is such a problem in Australia?
saker, Mar 17 2004

       That would be the house sparrow. You've done your homework. The convicts brought them down here coz they missed home so much...
dodgykransky, Mar 17 2004

       House Sparrows are really in decline here in the UK - population is reckoned to have about halved since 1968, for a variety of reasons.   

       Had a Google on your wedged-tail eagles - beautiful, very similar to our Golden Eagle.   

       As to the idea - if camels are so "irascible" as you say, could you really train them for this porpoise? Maybe if you gave them some benzodiazepines or something? Or maybe give those to the "Arab guy"? Hmmm... What if you're not in trouble? Would you want an angry camel chasing your arse, intent on "rescuing" you? I hear they bite...
saker, Mar 17 2004

       Alter the camels brain somehow - you could give it a lobotomy...This is a matter for the camel trainers, not me!
dodgykransky, Mar 17 2004

       If you make lost people wear the GPS thing, you don't have to train the camel he just follows the little beeps or LEDs wired into his sunglasses. Another thing, you should put the seat for the rescuee in the back of the camel cus the spit.
limbs4u, Mar 17 2004

       I never should have deleted that DBC idea... *sigh*
k_sra, Mar 17 2004

       The people would be saved by the locusts; they'd eat the bugs for nourishment...until the plague of camels.
FarmerJohn, Mar 17 2004


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