Australian flying foxes plummet to ground during heatwave
Hundreds of flying fox bats fell out of the sky after struggling to deal with recent scorching temperatures in Australia.
"They were so dehydrated and heat stressed that they just couldn't get back up," Geradine Hawkins pf Shoalhaven Bat Clnic in Nowra, Australia, told Network 10 in Australia.
Flying foxes are a kind of mammalian fruit bat, according to the Flying Fox Conservation Fund. Most live in tree tops, hollow trees and caves, but some might even build housing structures out of plants. They mostly eat fruit, flowers and nectar. They have been known to live up to 25 years in captivity.
Network 10 reported that volunteers were able to save 160 young bats at a makeshift animal hospital after their entire colony -- made up of mostly mothers and newborns -- succumbed to the effects of the hot weather.
Though many might be compelled to help an injured flying fox bat, experts warned Network 10 that the animals should only by handled by trained individuals. Some flying foxes are carriers for the deadly Lyssavirus, an Australian relative of the rabies virus which is transmitted though scratches are bites.
Popular on CBSNews.com
- Toronto mayor: I don't smoke crack cocaine
- 2 men from diverted Pakistani flight into U.K. arrested
- Photos of the week 22 Photos
- Graphic video: Man dead in "truly shocking" London attack Play Video
- Bangladesh slum life 13 Photos
- Muslim hard-liners ID suspect in London attack
- Former sex slaves: Osaka mayor should quit
- Deadly car bombing at aid group's house in Kabul