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Huge crowd drawn to camel, donkey sale

More than a thousand people crammed into Echuca saleyards on Saturday to see a selection of camels, horses, donkeys and miniature mules.

RHIANNON HORRELL December 3, 2013 4:46am

Seller David Loffel with some of the white camels which were auctioned at Echuca saleyards on Saturday.


Big crowds turned out to Echuca saleyards on Saturday for a one-of-a-kind donkey and camel sale.

More than a thousand people crammed into the venue to see a selection of camels, horses, donkeys and miniature mules.

Seller David Loffel transported 50 camels and about 100 donkeys down from the Northern Territory for the sale.

Mr Loffel said he had worked with a group of men to round up the camels in the wild and said camels could be considered a pest.

He is based in an area where the borders of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia meet.

‘‘We send them down here — there’s thousands of them in the territory,’’ he said.

‘‘Not many people want to live in the desert chasing camels.’’

Mr Loffel, who lives in Mooroopna, has spent the past five months in the territory for work.

He said the animals were transported by a pair of B-double trucks.

On Saturday, he expected adult camels to sell for up to $1000 each, with white camels commanding a higher pricetag.

Mr Loffel said young camels could sell for a few hundred each.

Echuca saleyards manager Willem Badenhorst was pleased to see the large crowds and spent time trying to keep things in check.

‘‘It’s good for the town — all these people.’’

He said the camels and donkeys had attracted a lot of attention.

‘‘We’ve even had the ABC from Darwin contact us,’’ he said.

Saleyards staff member Wendy Lee said the event was the biggest yarding she had ever seen at the venue.

 

Stock agent Stan Hunt agreed.

‘‘It’s the biggest sale that’s hit Echuca for many years.’’

Detective Jason Hare of Echuca police attended the sale to keep an eye on things.

‘‘There’s a lot of people that have come to have a look. It’s great for the town,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s unbelievable the interest it’s generated.’’

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