The ABC has reported that there were multiple attacks on vulnerable grey-headed flying foxes over the weekend in eastern Victoria.
On Friday, after six bats were found on the side of the road with gun shot wounds and broken bones. It appears that after the bats were shot, they were beaten even further.
Wildlife Victoria noted that there’s been a spike in attacks against flying foxes, who are taking to fruit trees for food after they lost their habitats during the bushfires.
More horrifying news: grey-headed flying foxes shot and bashed in regional Vic. https://t.co/tOPhfOlgNV
— Terri Butler MP (@terrimbutler) March 9, 2020
These bats seem to have been doing the same thing, with some of them still having fruit in their mouths when their bodies were found.
The second attack happened a few hours from the site of the first, with only one bat being purposely killed. It has been reported to police.
Bats have been having a really shit time recently, with more than 2000 flying foxes dying in eastern Victoria dying from heat stress in the last month alone. That’s an estimated third of the population.
During the Black Summer bushfires, bats made up about 100,000 of the 1 billion animal deaths, a significant number for an animal that is already in trouble. In the last 100 years, their population has declined by a concerning 95% and experts are worried that with the increasing effects of climate change, they might not be around much longer.
please pay attention to him pic.twitter.com/whhF19sRFB
— Andres™ (@vampirebIues) March 3, 2020
Since late last year, flying foxes were literally falling from the sky because of dehydration, starvation, and heat distress. Some were so emaciated that they looked like they’d been mummified.
Most of the public assumes that bats spread viruses, but that’s not true. Unless you get bitten or decide to eat a bat for lunch, you’re not at risk. This most recent attack may have been motivated by the coronavirus, with many media outlets reporting that it was contracted from bats, even though this hasn’t been confirmed.
Flying foxes are a vital part of the Australian ecosystem, especially after the bushfires. They’re long distance pollinators, so the environment relies on them to rebuild the bush and forests.
Between this and #toiletpapergate, it has not been a good week for Australia.
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Torchic enjoying some cuddles and head rubs before he gets weighed and measured. This happens every week so we can monitor each batties growth and make sure they are improving week by week. They know they get grapes after this, so they are always the best patients 😁 (he’s still got fruit supplement all over his face from the night before) *bats are not pets* – I am a licensed and vaccinated wildlife rescuer and rehabilitator. If you see a sick or injured bat, do not touch it. Call your nearest wildlife rescue group. No touch, no risk. #torchictheflyingfox #torchic #pokemon #greyheadedflyingfox #vaccinatedandlicencedcarer #bcrq #batsqld #wildliferescue #batsofaustralia #australianwildlife #batsofinstagram #batsarenotpets #pleasedonottouchbats #notouchnorisk #rehabilitateandrelease #secondchance #australia #queensland #battyburrito #threatenedspecies #protectedspecies #bat #bats #babybat
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