Severe weather in Australia has resulted in the demise of thousands of flying foxes. With temperatures exceeding 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the helpless animals began to fall from the trees as they were boiled alive due to the immense heat. With animal welfare volunteers on-site, they attempted to save the lives of the distressed species, although the number is rising in fatalities.
“The effort of our volunteers yesterday was both heroic and heartbreaking,” said a spokesman for the charity Help Save The Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown, a suburb of Sydney. Campbelltown colony manager Kate Ryan spoke to the Camden Narellan Advertiser, explaining how the flying foxes were affected by this. “They basically boil. It affects their brain – their brain just fries and they become incoherent.” She added: “It would be like standing in the middle of a sandpit with no shade.” The crew tried to provide the flying foxes within reach with subcutaneous fluids, which luckily did manage to save many lives.
The heat was strong enough that it melted tarmac, the bitumen on the highway, as well as sparking bushfires that endangered the lives of residents. Currently, an estimated 400 homes lost power, and 50 fires were reported across Victoria, leading to emergency warnings, and residents being warned to seek shelter from the raging fire. Craig Lapsley, the state’s emergency management commissioner, stated that the hot temperatures combined with dry weather and strong winds resulted in dangerous conditions. “It’s exactly what the forecast indicated,” he added in a news conference.
The number of flying fox fatalities continues to rise, and people continue to seek shelter at this frightening time. Emergency crews continue to try to tame the out-of-control fire that engulfed the land, aiming to prevent further damage and casualties.
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