Following a record-breaking heatwave that swept through Australia earlier this week, animal rescue workers are now scrambling to save the lives of some of its most vulnerable victims.
Staff at the Australian Bat Clinic in Queensland say that around 450 baby bats have so far been admitted, left orphaned after 122° temperatures scorched the region, leading to thousands of heat-related bat deaths.
Conservationist Louise Saunders tells the Associated Press that an estimated 50 thousand bats have died so far, and many more are expected to perish as the heatwave shows no signs of ebbing.
"As they succumb, they just fall in heaps at the base of trees. You can have 250 or more -- it's like dripping chocolate -- all dying at the base of trees," says Saunders. "It's an enormous animal welfare concern."
Meanwhile, rescuers continue to scour for survivors, particularly orphans, which will be rehabilitated and eventually returned to the wild.