Around 100,000 bats are estimated to have died as a result of the recent heatwave in southern Queensland, an animal charity says.
The RSPC notes mass deaths in around 25 separate colonies across the region, with spokesman Michael Beatty telling ABC News: “The heatwave was basically a catastrophe for all the bat colonies in south-east Queensland.
“That’s obviously going to have a pretty disturbing impact on those colonies and those colonies are vital to our ecosystem.”
The smell of the corpses is also causing problems for locals, the channel adds, and survivors are being humanely euthanised by conservation workers and vets.
News.com.au described the scenes as “like we’re living in one of Alfred Hitchcock’s terrifying thought bubbles.”
Louise Saunders, Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland president told the Courier Mail: “These (hot weather) events are really impacting on them.
“It’s a horrible, cruel way to die. We’re just trying to deal with the animal welfare side of things.”
Residents are being advised not to touch the bats as some carry the disease Australian bat lyssavirus, which can cause paralysis and even death in humans.
Dead flying foxes are also falling from the sky in droves as temperatures soared to 43 degrees, the Sydney Morning Herald writes.