Record-Breaking Heatwave In Australia Causes Thousands Of Bats To Fall Out Of The Sky

While parts of the United States are experiencing frigid to freezing-turned-fatal temperatures, Australia is in the midst a record-breaking heatwave; both scenarios, sadly, have innocent animals dying horrific deaths.

Last weekend alone, it is estimated that in parts of Australia, thousands of flying-foxes died as a result of the intense heat.

“Flying-foxes are especially susceptible to a run of days with high temperatures. Flying-foxes suffering heat stress may come to the ground or move closer to the ground during daylight hours,” North Western Sydney Wires explained Saturday on Facebook, in which it also instructed, people who notice bats in peril to call WIRES immediately at 1300 094 737. “It is important NEVER TO TOUCH OR HANDLE a flying-fox under any circumstance as a very small number may present a risk of contracting Australian Bat Lyssavirus, a disease transmitted through bites and scratches.”

The group also offered the following tips for people waiting for a WIRES rescuer to arrive: If you are able to safely, without touching it, provide some form of shade over the flying-fox to keep it out of the direct sun; If the flying-fox is on the ground and it’s a hot day, place a cool towel or umbrella above it until the rescuer arrives to protect it from the worst of the heat; and, spray the animal intermittently with a very light mist or set up a sprinkler to gently wet the animal.

On Sunday, the group which has been documenting its rescue and recovery efforts, posted “Heat stress sadly claimed the lives of many hundreds of young flying-foxes at Campbelltown yesterday afternoon & the camp at Parramatta Park was also impacted. As the temperatures soared into the mid 40’s, WIRES volunteers from South Western Sydney, with assistance from volunteers from Wollondilly, spent the day trying to save the lives of the hundreds of pups & some adults in distress. At Parramatta Park, WIRES volunteers from North Western Sydney worked alongside Sydney Wildlife volunteers helping distressed animals from that camp.”

Calling the efforts heroic, WIRES continued on to praise everyone involved, “from vaccinated volunteers who triaged the stressed young & were working to re-hydrate the bats, to those who provided misting water for the remaining colony & for the carers who were working to save them. A very tough & very sad day.”

Today’s update from WIRES Facebook page noted that more than 20 young flying-fox pups that were rescued at the Campbelltown colony over the weekend required critical and ongoing care with another 20 from the Parramatta Park colony.

Fortunately, according to WIRES, more than 120 of the bats from across the two camps were able to be re-hydrated and reunited with their mothers.


Ways to help WIRES is available HERE!

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