Death In The Trees: Hundreds Of Megabats Died Due To Heatwave In Australia

First Posted: Feb 13, 2017 03:00 AM EST

Hundreds of Australia's gray-headed flying fox known also as megabats are dying in Adelaide's Botanic Park in Australia this weekend. The country is experiencing intense heatwave as of these times.

The megabats are dying upside down in the trees. There were about 100 of them died in South Australia. It could be seen in a video that many of them are lying along the roadside, according to Gizmodo.

Jason van Weenen, an ecologist from Natural Resources SA, said that the bats do not cope well with hot temperatures and he expects the number of dead animals to rise. He further said that they camp during the day in that area near the entrance to Adelaide Zoo, that is where people are seeing a lot of the animals succumbing to the heat now.

The temperature at Adelaide has reached to 39 degrees Celsius and on Saturday 36 degrees Celsius. The officials warn the people not to touch the deadly bats as they might carry deadly diseases such as the Australian bat lyssavirus and Hendra virus, according to ABC.

Mr. van Weenen said that it is important that people do not pick them up. He also said that people might come across the dead bats along the metropolitan area.

The gray-headed flying fox belongs to the genus Pteropus together with the little red fox, the spectacled flying fox and the black flying fox. This is also referred to as megabat and a native to Australia. It is mostly seen from Bundaberg in Queensland to Geelong in Victoria, Finch Hatton in the north and in Adelaide in the south.

The massive bat with relatively large eyes for a bat has a dark gray body with a light gray head and a reddish-brown neck collar of fur. Its head and body length are about 230 mm and 289 mm with an average of 253 mm. It has no tail yet with claws on its first and second digits. The Natural Resources SA stated that the flying foxes were a threatened species. 

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