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Nature & Environment

Bat invasion threatens Australian town

By T.K. Randall
March 8, 2012 · Comment icon 11 comments

Image Credit: sxc.hu
A small town in northern Australia is the scene of an invasion by a massive swarm of 250,000 bats.
Hundreds of thousands of fruit bats have invaded the area south of Darwin prompting a warning by the CDC about the possible spread of rabies which can be transmitted by a simple scratch or bite. It isn't clear what brought the sudden influx of bats to the region, it is thought that they might have been attracted by local flora or that they were driven to the area due to the destruction of their native habitats.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) warned residents in Katherine to stay away from the fruit bats, which could carry the Australian Bat Lyssavirus. The disease can be transmitted to people if they are bitten or scratched. Authorities have closed down the main sports ground in the town 300 km south of Darwin in the Northern Territory.


Source: BBC News | Comments (11)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by missymoo999 12 years ago
actually,thats a fallacy.Most bats do not carry rabies at all,and if i had to die,thats the way i would go .I love bats . http://www.batworld.org/ check out lil Drac.hes a star ! You can actually buy fruit bats for pets in japan .Theyre adorable !
Comment icon #3 Posted by highdesert50 12 years ago
These are a large furred bat with impressive wing-spans and quite attractive as their facial features are very fox-like. I recall them aloft in the tops of breadfruit trees, but also as somewhat tame in that they cohabit the same areas as humans. Some cultures consider these bats a delicacy and others a pet. But, 250000 of these big guys is a lot ... perhaps some garlic might work.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ROGER 12 years ago
Another source says it's not that big a problem. [ "The virus is a close relative of the rabies virus and was first identified in Australia in 1996. Since then two people have died from it." ] From: http://www.health.nt.gov.au/Agency/News_Archive/Hands_off_bats_Health_Department_warns/indexdl_4507.aspx
Comment icon #5 Posted by psyche101 12 years ago
Lyssavirus may not seem that big a problem with 2 dead, although it is pretty much rabies, it differs from rabies by only 8% and I am pretty sure that some are satisfied the woman caring for her bats dies of rabies. I do know that Fred Murphy, a world expert on viral diseases at the University of California, told New Scientist magazine that, as far as he is concerned, the woman died of rabies. We do not have rabies here, it would be devastating to see it introduced, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Megamyxovirus is another disease carried and distributed by bats. It has killed at least ... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by missymoo999 12 years ago
I heard something about bat poo being coveted.People go into bat caves and just collected the guano for big bucks. I have to look it up ,as I forget why.
Comment icon #7 Posted by KnockoutMouse 12 years ago
Kids gotta eat. Now... What have learned about waking the dead? Glorious convicts! I salute you.
Comment icon #8 Posted by justcalmebubba 12 years ago
damn shame its not the same town with all the spiders or is it maybe nature cleaning up after it self?
Comment icon #9 Posted by psyche101 12 years ago
I heard something about bat poo being coveted.People go into bat caves and just collected the guano for big bucks. I have to look it up ,as I forget why. For fertiliser, it is nitrogen rich - LINK Bat Cave mine
Comment icon #10 Posted by UniqueWolf 12 years ago
More vampires? (Joshing!)
Comment icon #11 Posted by Eldorado 12 years ago
Same thing happens every year Batman leaves the Bat Cave for summer vacation.


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