A swarm of more than 100,000 bats have descended on an Australian coastal town in biblical proportions, forcing local leaders to take direct action.
When God sends a swarm of locusts on the people of Egypt, it comes in the form of damnation for misdeeds against the Israelites. Makes you wonder what the town of Batemans Bay in New South Wales must have done to deserve a massive swarm of flying fox bats.
The local government there is calling the situation a state of emergency with the state government pledging $1.8 million to help disperse the critters. One resident said the bats are so loud she can’t think.
“The bats came and they are just out of control,” Danielle Smith told Channel News Asia. “We just can’t do anything because of them. I can’t open the windows, I can’t use the clotheslines, it’s just, I can’t study because the noise just goes constantly. I can’t concentrate. It’s not fun.”
The only problem is that the bats are considered a vulnerable species so they can’t kill them. So instead they will use smoke and noise to force the bats to move on. They are also in the process of removing the trees that the bats like to perch in.
But that won’t work, says an animal rights group that urged officials to let the bats move on by their own.
“Independent scientific reports have indicated that in fact the dispersal is high-risk and really won’t work,” said Glenys Oogjes with Animals Australia, according to Channel News Asia. “We have to wait for the bats to move on and they will.”
Mayor Lindsay Brown said that really wasn’t an option.
“At the stage for the community, that’s not an option because the community really does want to see some action on this matter,” she told reporters. “They’ve been living with this circumstance for a considerable period of time and causing a great deal of stress and distress to our community.”
These types of bats are nothing new for the town of Batemans Bay located between Sydney and Melbourne, but never to this degree, said Russell Schneider, Flying Fox Task Force.
“This is the biggest, this is unprecedented, they’ve never been seen in these numbers,” Schneider told the news station.
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