Up to 5,000 bats killed by heatwave in Australia

Animal rescuers are caring for about 250 orphaned flying fox pups.

By Ben Hooper
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CASINO, Australia, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A temperatures spiked over 110 degrees, up to 5,000 bats in an Australian city fell from the trees, dead, officials said.

Richmond Valley Council officials said temperatures in Casino rose to 111 degrees Saturday, more than is tolerable for flying foxes, a form of fruit bat.


Officials said up to 5,000 bats dropped dead from their tree perches during the heat wave.

"Some areas along the riverbank are inaccessible and the stench from the rotting carcasses will be quite unbearable for some time yet," Council Manager John Walker told The Sydney Daily Telegraph.

Walker warned against residents trying to help injured bats themselves, as the animals could carry diseases.

About 450 young orphaned bats are being cared for by the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service, or WIRES.

WIRES Incident Manager Katy Stewart said the pups are between two and four weeks old and were still nursing when their mothers died from the heat.

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