TRAGIC END: A council worker picks up dead fruit bats for disposal.
TRAGIC END: A council worker picks up dead fruit bats for disposal. Claudia Baxter

Heat kills more than 2000 flying foxes in Ipswich and Redbank

MORE than 2000 flying foxes died from the heatwave that hit Ipswich over the weekend.

The 44-degree temperature on Saturday played havoc with the bats with more than 1000 dead bats picked up by Ipswich City Council officers in Queens Park alone.

Yesterday morning, 560 flying foxes were recovered from the nature centre, which was closed at 12.45pm Saturday, with bats still dying and dropping from the trees.

Tourists were again enjoying Nerima Gardens after it opened late following the removal of 30 dead bats.

The situation for the bats was also dire at the Pan Pacific Peace Gardens in Redbank, where more than 1000 dead flying foxes were also collected.

A small number of the creatures were also removed from Woodend, while there were reports of more dead in Boonah.

There were still large numbers yesterday dead in trees, but out of the reach of council officers.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said the extreme heat was a tragedy for the bats.

"Whatever anyone's opinion is either side of the bat debate, no one wishes this sort of tragedy on the bats," he said.

"It just goes to show the extent and intensity of the heatwave we had on Saturday. I know that I felt it, but the poor old bats don't know how to deal with the heat.

"While I don't appreciate the bats being in Queens Park, it is not something I'd wish on them."

The council has been dealing with ongoing bat issues and Cr Pisasale said he was working on some programs with Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland to make residents' and bats' lives easier.

"We are looking at putting up some shelters and working with the bat people," he said.

"I don't want to move them into the suburbs, but we will work something out."

As of yesterday, apart from the nature centre, Queens Park was fully operational and the Pan Pacific Peace Gardens remained open.

The temperature soared to 43.7 degrees in Ipswich on Saturday afternoon and residents found many ways to cope with the heat.



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