Over 100,000 bats fell out of the sky this week in Queensland, Australia due to a major heat wave. While America is suffering a Polar Vortex, Australia has been slammed with temperatures as high as 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Many northern Australians were startled to discover dead bats strewn across their properties.
The intense heat wave has put Australians at risk of heat stroke for several weeks, but other bats are also affected by the soaring temperatures. According to Bat Conservation & Rescue Queensland President Louise Sanders in an interview with the Courier Mail, the bats started collapsing when temperatures hit 109 degrees Fahrenheit. At 135 degrees, bats and birds alike began falling out of the trees, and sadly many died upon impact with the ground. One Dayboro resident named Murray Paas filmed the carnage on 4 January, 2014 in a YouTube video that showed hundreds of bats scattered around his yard and birds hanging limply from trees.
Locals are finding hundreds of mangled bats in their yards, and worse, many of them are beginning to decay, giving off an acrid smell. Yet authorities are warning citizens to not touch the animals as some may still be alive and able to bite. So far, 16 people who tried to clean up their yards have been bitten and given antiviral treatment to protect them against lyssavirus, which Australian bats are known to carry.
The heat wave continues to rage in Australia, with rising temperatures of 105 expected for the city of Perth this week.
Image ©USFWS Headquarters