A large colony of bats are causing a stir in their new temporary home in Naracoorte.
The bats have taken up residence in trees on the corner of Butler Tce and Cedar Ave – not far from where a similar sized colony called home on the Naracoorte Hospital grounds about eight years ago.
Since the Herald’s story was published on Thursday, there have been several other reported sightings of bats in nearby areas including Gordon St and the corner of Memorial Dr and Jenkins Tce. People have also sent in photos of the last visit by bats backs in 2010.
Large numbers of people have been coming out in the evenings to observe the phenomenon. The SA Museum has been made aware of the bats and locals including Naracoorte Lucindale Council director Steve Bourne are monitoring the situation.
Experienced with bats in his previous occupation as Naracoorte Caves manager, Steve said he had counted at least 120 of them one night but there would probably be 200-300 altogether.
“At the moment we’re just watching to see if they move on or roost,” he said. “Last time, which would have been seven or eight years ago, as soon it became cool they headed off again.”
Steve said there had been some concerns from locals that the bats might pass on diseases, but he said that was unlikely.
They can potentially carry lyssavirus and for that reason they shouldn’t be handled, alive or dead.
They can also carry hendra virus, but that can only be passed on to humans through animals such as horses and dogs becoming infected, which is rare.
Anyone with concerns or information to report can contact the SA Museum.
Oh, bats! A colony of the mammals has settled into local trees in the south east. Amber Holmes submitted this footage to @NaracoorteHerldpic.twitter.com/7uUc7y5LKB— Alice Dempster (@alice_primrose) March 23, 2017
Oh, bats! A colony of the mammals has settled into local trees in the south east. Amber Holmes submitted this footage to @NaracoorteHerld pic.twitter.com/7uUc7y5LKB— Alice Dempster (@alice_primrose) March 23, 2017