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State of emergency as 100,000 bats descend on Australian town


The bats have made a coastal town, south of Sydney, their home Credit: APTN

A state of emergency has been declared after 100,000 bats descended on a small Australian town.

The grey-headed flying foxes have made their home in the coastal town of Batemans Bay, in New South Wales, creating problems for local residents.

The state government have said they will commit US$1.8m (£1.23m) to help the local council disperse the bats.

The community really does want to see some action on this matter.

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.
– LINDSAY BROWN, EUROBODALLA SHIRE COUNCIL MAYOR

A local resident, Danielle Smith, said: "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."

Local media reported that some of the ideas being considered to remove the animals involve using smoke, noise and clearing vegetation.


The bats have taken over local trees in Batemans Bay Credit: APTN

Russell Schneider of the Flying Fox Task Force said the event is largest he has witnessed: "This is the biggest, this is unprecedented, they've never been seen in these numbers."

The 'flying foxes' are considered vulnerable species and their removal must be non-lethal, with animal rights groups calling for patience and time to enable them to move on.

Glenys Oogjes from Animals Australia said: "We have to wait for the bats to move on and they will".

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Megabats and Microbats: State of emergency as 100,000 bats descend on Australian town
State of emergency as 100,000 bats descend on Australian town
State of emergency as 100,000 bats descend on Australian town
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Megabats and Microbats
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