While blistering cold continues to punish most of North America, here is your friendly annual reminder that summer is in full swing down in Australia.
Unfortunately for residents of several towns scattered across the north-east state of Queensland, enjoying all that wonderful sunshine may be a bit difficult, especially when surrounded by the rotting, noxious corpses of thousands of dead bats.
The culprit in this case is apparently a scorching summer heat wave, which can wreak havoc on a bat’s fragile anatomy. “Anything over 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) and they just fall,” says Louis Saunders, a local conservation worker. “It’s a horrible, cruel way to die.”
The smell is becoming a nuisance for local residents, too.
The Scenic Rim Regional Council, west of Brisbane, has organized rubbish collectors to clear up the carcasses of about 2,000 bats.
Residents near Boonah’s Athol Terrace lookout say they have been putting up with the stench of the dead animals for four days.
Hundreds of bats also lie dead in trees and nearby bushes, and are being eaten by maggots.
The council today advised local residents it will not send workers into nearby bushland to collect the remaining bat carcasses, as it could cause further disruption to the nearby colony. [ABC News Australia]