The sound of silence

The Northern Star, our local rag, last week screamed the headline: ‘Holy bat-astrophe!’. Call me humourless, but I don’t think the deaths of possibly 5000 endangered flying foxes particularly funny.

How about all those children dying of ebola? Are they likely to get a headline, ‘Holy kid-astrophe!’. I don’t think so.

The poor flying foxes can’t cope with temps that are up to 44 degrees C (111 degrees F), recorded at Casino, about 30 km from me. They drop from the trees dead with their babies still clinging to them. The lack of rain in the past couple of months hasn’t helped either.

Male grey-headed flying_fox, suffering from heat stress; Source: Wikimedia Commons, photographer Welbergen

Male grey-headed flying_fox, suffering from heat stress; source: Wikimedia Commons, photo by Welbergen

Wildlife carers have done a mighty job taking as many orphans into care as possible. There’s no guarantee these will survive, but we gotta try. For a change, it’s a natural disaster, not one brought on by the ignorance and fear of humans.

These babies are being cared for in a wildlife hospital …

Grey-headed flying fox babies, 2-3 weeks old, at a wildlife hospital

Grey-headed flying fox babies, 2-3 weeks old, at a wildlife hospital; source: Wikimedia Commons, photo by Wcawikinfo

Blokeschool took the opportunity for educating the kids about these bats. I’m impressed with the skeleton reconstruction.

Usually, I go to sleep with the sounds of several of these bats flapping or squealing around the house at night. They seem to love the mulberries and guava fruits. But, alas, there have been no such sounds at all this week. I fear the worst for ‘my’ bats.

But wait, what’s that sound? Ah … it’s rain. At least that’s something. There’s hope that, in time, other flying foxes will discover the fruits of my garden.

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2 Responses to The sound of silence

  1. janebeau says:

    By a weird sort of synchronicity, we are currently seeing a bizarre public-service TV ad telling people how to guard against Ebola which includes advice on not touching dead people and avoiding eating bats! It’s really badly done and looks a bit like a promo for a zombie movie but I suppose they mean well. xx J

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