A colony of 80 thousand bats has descended upon the Australian town of Charters Towers, population 8,234, blackening the skies with their silhouettes and blanketing the community below with their droppings.
"It stinks, it smells. Some days it's that unbearable you can't open your doors," says shop manager Ayla Pott.
Meanwhile, the town council has approved of desperate measures to drive the bats from where they've congregated in a local park. According to Australian Broadcasting Company, "the sounds of horns, helicopters, gun blasts and even fireworks" are being used to scare them back to their roosting ground several miles to the north.
Some see the action as inhumane, particularly for younger bats which might become injured in the resulting panic.