There's a heat wave in Australia and it's killing thousands of bats
Posted January 10, 2018 9:19 a.m. EST
(CNN) — While the US begins to recover from record low temperatures, Australia is facing a deadly heat wave that is killing thousands of large bats, called flying foxes.
Australia is experiencing temperatures of nearly 115 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wildlife has been seriously impacted by the heat. A conservation group, Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown, told CNN about 3,000 flying foxes died this past weekend alone.
The conservation group posted photos to Facebook of piles of dead bats.
The animals reportedly died from dehydration. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the bats have trouble regulating their body temperature when the heat climbs above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Campbelltown, home to a large bat colony, is about 36 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Sydney.
"The temperature hit 46 degrees Celsius and our flying-fox colony went down. WIRES volunteers helped as many as possible," said Ricardo Lonza, founder of Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands. WIRES is a local wildlife rescue group.
Australia has seven species of flying foxes, which feed on fruit, flowers, pollen and nectar. One of those species is critically endangered and two others are classified as vulnerable, according to the Australian government.
Conservation groups also have been hosing down koalas too keep them cool, as heat stress can severely harm them as well.