100K Dead Bats Drop From Sky in Australia
Heat overtakes 'flying foxes'
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2014 1:06 PM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2014 7:35 AM CST
Loading... Please wait

(Newser) – As the US emerged from that whole "polar vortex," Australia saw an intense heatwave last weekend—leading to the deaths of 100,000 bats, many of which reportedly dropped from the sky. In one video that went viral, a man filmed what he estimated to be more than 1,000 bat carcasses in his backyard, the Guardian reports. "The heatwave was basically a catastrophe for all the bat colonies in southeast Queensland," a rep for the RSPCA tells Australia's ABC News, noting that mass deaths were reported at 25 colonies. Bats are fragile and can't withstand temperatures above 109 degrees, a conservation worker explains. (Queensland's Brisbane got as hot as 106 on Saturday, notes ABC News.)

"They just fall," she says. "It's a horrible, cruel way to die." Another problem: The stench from the bodies is bothering locals. In one area, residents say they've had to live with the smell for days; in others, teams of trash collectors have been put together by regional councils to clean up the carcasses. In addition to those that fell to the ground, hundreds of bodies are still in trees and bushes, and maggots have already set in. As if all that isn't enough, at least 16 people have had to undergo anti-viral treatment after getting scratched or otherwise coming into close contact with a bat.

View 2 images
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
100K Dead Bats Drop From Sky in Australia is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 74 comments
Alicia Mison
Nov 18, 2014 1:01 AM CST
They're flying foxes, not bats. They live in trees. I live in one of the affected towns, and about 5000 of them died here alone. Last year we had a plague of them and lots of people complained about the smell and noise, so our council topped all the trees after they left to discourage them from the built up areas when they returned at their next migration. Apparently a few towns did this. When the bats came back this season, they didn't get the hint and continues to roost in the same trees, even thought they now provide no shade or protection. then along comes an unseasonably hot 43*c day, and bam! it's raining flying foxes. i'll miss them, i walk past the colony every day as i take my kid to school, and they put on a beautiful show on dusk covering the sky for kilometres around. people around here wanted the foxes dead because of a stink, now the foxes ARE dead, and there's a bigger stink than ever. Mother Nature 1: Fox haters 0
Jan 14, 2014 12:02 AM CST
clean up in aisle two!
Jan 10, 2014 8:48 PM CST
Robin did it. He was jealous.