Fires, Hail storms, dust storms and now a bat plague of “Biblical Proportions” is filing the skies above Ingham, Queensland, and there are so many bats that locals are reporting that the local hospital’s helicopter was not even able to land and parents are afraid to send their children to school.
The skies above Ingham, Queensland, are so thick with bats that the local hospital’s helicopter was unable to land and parents are afraid to send their kids to school.
Australia is famous for its plentiful, and often dangerous wildlife. And the locals are pretty used to that.
But normally unflappable Aussies have been freaked out by a ‘biblical plague’ of fruit bats.
In Ingham, North Queensland, a colossal ‘bat tornado’ has become so intense that the local hospital’s air ambulance was grounded.
“It just seems to me that every bat in Australia is now in Ingham,” Mayor of Hinchinbrook Council Raymon Jayo told news magazine show A Current Affair.
He explained: ”There’s four different species and because they all have young at different times, there’s hardly a window of opportunity when we can interact with these bats to try and move them on.”
The bats are a protected species in Australia, and there are strict limits on what can be done to deter the animals.
Outspoken Queensland-born politician Bob Katter says if it were up to him, he’d “be down here with a shotgun”.
“There comes a point where I think not breaking the law really becomes ‘dogging it,’ as we say in North Queensland.” he told reporters. “And I think that point has probably been reached.”
President of the local Chamber of Commerce, Rachael Coco, says “If this was happening at parliament house, somebody would have come up with a solution by now,” pointing out that tourism in the area has fallen away almost to nothing due to the plague of bats.
Some of the trees in the town are so full of roosting bats that branches are breaking from the sheer weight.
Trees around the local primary school are a favourite spot for the bats, and many Ingham parents are refusing to send their kids to school until the infestation ends.
“They’re not stepping a foot in that ground until something is, we know that is, being done,” local mum Susanne Kaurila told A Current Affair.
The bats carry lyssavirus, a rabies-lied disease that can be passed on through bites and scratches. It’s rare for humans to catch it, only three cases have ever been recorded but all were fatal.