Southern Australia’s devastating heat wave, which peaked well over 110º Fahrenheit in mid-February, has reportedly killed off hundreds of gray-headed flying foxes in a wildlife park, which are some of the largest types of bats in the world. This quality has earned them the title "megabat."
If you’re someone who doesn’t like bats, you would definitely want to stay away from these intimidating creatures, which can have wingspans reaching as much as feet in length, which compared to regular bats, tends to be quite monstrous.
Image Credit: The Weather Network/YouTube
Images and videos have been popping up all over the place online, showing the creatures after they’ve fallen out of trees after succumbing to the insane heat levels. Some are even still hanging upside-down in the trees, despite having already perished.
As many as 700 are confirmed dead. This is reportedly the highest death toll for the species in the area since 2004, when grey-headed flying fox deaths were tallied at around 2,500. This isn’t a particularly good thing, considering the species is listed as vulnerable in the region.
Interestingly, the creatures are known to thrive successfully in hotter temperatures, so attempting to understand what exactly is going on here is leaving many experts baffled. It’s now a question of what can be done to help mitigate the issue, and moreover, whether or not the species can rebound after this massive die-off.
The public is being warned to stay away from the many carcasses, as they are known carry diseases that aren’t so pleasant to come in contact with.
Even the park staff are having trouble coping with all the carcasses, as seeing so many dead animals at once in one place can leave mental scars that don't go away any time soon.