The heatwave in Australia has killed hundreds of bats, with many dropping from their perches as the scorching heat “fried their brains”, AFP quoted wildlife officials as saying on Tuesday.
The bats, called flying foxes, died as the temperature rose to 45 degrees Celsius in Sydney’s western suburb of Campbelltown on Sunday.
“They basically boil,” Kate Ryan, a flying fox colony manager, told local newspaper Camden Advertiser. “It affects their brain – their brain just fries and they become incoherent. It would be like standing in the middle of a sandpit with no shade.”
Ryan said thousands more could succumb to the heat before the end of summer.
The bats help maintain a healthy ecosystem as they are one of the most active pollinators in Australia, according to the National Geographic.
The flying foxes are not the only animals struggling to cope with the heat – wildlife groups are spraying water on koalas perched on trees. Koalas eat water-filled eucalyptus leaves to stay hydrated, but researchers from the University of Sydney had said in 2017 that the increasing heat was drying out the leaves and forcing the animals to climb down from their trees, which is their habitat.
Sydney is experiencing the hottest temperatures in eight decades. A six-mile stretch of a highway in the central part of the state of Victoria melted on January 5. The temperature in Penrith, the suburb west of Sydney, had reached 47.3 degrees Celsius at 3.25 pm on Sunday, news.com.au reported.