In the old days, bats were thought to be able communicate or talk to spirits and even nowadays most people consider them creepy. While some species are misleadingly named ‘foxes’ they look nothing like a cute fox. An unfortunate town in Australia has now been swamped with 100,000 grey-headed flying foxes, the largest bats in Australia, causing many problems for the community.
The location of this nightmare scene is the quaint town of Batemans Bay in New South Wales, Australia. After several months of the town’s new residents, the infuriated locals are now hoping to get rid of their unwelcome guests through a AUS$6.2 million ($4.5 million) action plan, full of bizarre ideas.
This species has a 1 meter (3.3 foot) wingspan and can grow up to 28 cm (11 inches) in height
Reuters reports that the huge numbers of this bat are causing power outages, affecting the town’s tourism industry, and driving down property prices. On top of this, their loud squawks and bad smell is further adding to their constant nuisance in the town.
New South Wales Environment Minister Mark Speakman told ABC News, “We’ve had many residents complain, they feel they’re prisoners in their own homes, they can’t go out, they have to have air conditioning on the whole time, windows closed.”
He added, “The circumstances really amount almost to a state of emergency.”
Part of the problem lies in the fact that these bats are a protected species under numerous conservation acts. The authorities believe the bats have swarmed to this south-eastern coastal holiday town following a heavy flowering of native trees that contain their favorite food, nectar.
However, help is on its way. The local government has released a plan-of-action report. Among their suggestions of how to tackle the problem the report includes using smoke, radar signals, or noise to disturb the bats, as well as spraying trees with an “animal deterrent.” But most novel of all is the use of “waving man” inflatables to scare off the bats.
For the sake of the poor residents, let’s just hope they fly away as soon as possible.
H/T to iflscience