Bats in Australia – level 3
Bats are meant to live in caves, but they aren't in this Australian holiday spot.
"Well, I think it's a natural disaster. It's a disaster for residents. It's disaster for the flora and fauna."
More than 100,000 bats have sparked a state of emergency in Batesmans Bay in New South Wales. This swarm, made up of grey-headed flying foxes, are reportedly causing power outages. People here say they've been left feeling like prisoners in their own home.
"Every morning without fail I have to wash the deck, wash the car."
It's not just a daily nightmare. Locals say the bats are keeping tourists away and that they're hurting property prices.
The government has pledged more than 2 million dollars to solve the problem. But because the species are native to Australia, they're listed as vulnerable and killing them isn't an option.
Instead, the local council is looking at other ways to reduce their numbers. They're considering using smoke and noise to force the bats out. And officials have already started chopping down trees to get them moving.
But animal rights groups say patience is the only thing that will work. For now, the residents have only one choice – to hang in there.
Difficult words: spot (a place), flora (plants), fauna (animals), spark (to cause, to start), swarm (a large group), deck (a floor), pledge (to promise), species (an animal kind), vulnerable (in danger), chop (to cut), hang in there (this means two things – to hang from a place and to wait for a problem to end).
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