Extreme heat wreaks havoc on Casino bat camp

More than 2000 flying foxes have died from the heatwave which hit the Richmond Valley over the weekend. The 46-degree temperature yesterday played havoc with the flying-fox camp at Casino with thousands of dead bats picked up by Richmond Valley Council officers in McAuliffe Park, in the Hickey and Barker streets area, as well as in Queen Elizabeth Park, along the riverbank, and on the roadway. WIRES volunteers are also on site, attempting to deal with the young flying foxes in the first instance. It is likely Council crews will continue the collection of dead bats over the coming week, which may extend into private property, as there is still large numbers dead in trees, and along the riverbank, out of the reach of Council crews. While Council officers are acting as quickly as possible to remove the dead bats; residents are advised to stay clear until all dead bats are taken away. Crews are having difficulty accessing some areas of the riverbank and unfortunately this means there may be an unpleasant odour for a while. Council’s environmental health officers will continue to monitor the site. People should avoid the area and not try to help living bats themselves as they could bite and scratch and some carry the lyssavirus. Parents and teachers need to be especially vigilant to ensure children remained safe.