Flying foxes infuriate Warwick family
THE bats are back and one Warwick family has had enough.
Thousands upon thousands of flying foxes have returned to roost along the Condamine River and each night fill the skies over the town as they head south, only to return early each morning.
Angela and Jeremy Briggs, whose house backs onto the river near the western end of Grafton St said the bats came back in early December.
"Every year they return to this area as the weather gets warmer," said Mr Briggs.
"Every time they come back there's more and more and they completely take over the trees out the back."
Mrs Briggs said this year was the worst they'd seen.
"We've been in this house three years and I've never seen so many," she said.
"Every night about seven o'clock, the skies above turn black with them.
"They swoop and fly around for about half an hour and then take off."
Mr Briggs said the back deck was out of bounds at dusk.
"They're only 10 feet above your head and they're huge," he said.
"They make so much noise and they crap everywhere.
"All over the house, the cars, the back deck and occasionally people.
"Angela's son walked out there in a brand new t-shirt and was crapped on, he was quite devastated."
Mr Briggs said there was a lady a few doors down who'd had enough as well.
"She gets out there banging on pots and pans, trying to get them to move on," he said.
"If there's any noise or activity about they just go nuts.
"There's just a constant noise, all day and it only stops about 8pm, once they're gone to wherever they go.
"Then at 4am they're back and it all starts again.
"We want them gone, it'd be great if the council would get rid of them."
The Briggs family said they weren't too concerned about their health or safety as the bats mostly kept to themselves and the children had been taught not to go anywhere near them.
Mrs Briggs said Jeremy and the boys used to go fishing in the river at the back of the house block.
"They just don't so it when the bats are around though," she said.
"We used to have a vegie garden out the back too, but I was concerned about how safe that might be, with all the droppings and the germs they carry."
Mr Briggs said dead bats were everywhere.
"They just drop out of the sky in the heatwaves," he said.
"There's been one out on the road for a few weeks and there's a few in the park as well, which is really concerning given that neighbourhood kids play in there all the time.
"The council doesn't seem to care or know to collect the dead ones."
Southern Downs Regional Council's Ken Harris said council was aware the flying foxes had returned and had received two enquiries from the public.
"We ask residents to be aware of the migratory patterns of these animals," he said.
"From past experience we're fairly confident they'll move on soon.
"Our advice to residents is to stay away from the area and do not handle sick or injured flying foxes."
State and Commonwealth legislation imposes heavy penalties for anyone found to be harming flying foxes or disrupting roosts.
If you find a sick, injured or orphaned flying fox or bat, do not touch it. Contact the RSPCA (1300
ANIMAL or 1300 264 625) or your local wildlife care group/rescuer/carer or the Department of
Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) (1300 130 372) for assistance.
For further information about flying foxes visit Council's website: http://www.sdrc.qld.gov.au/living-here/pets---animals/wildlife/bats/flying-foxes-bats-micro-bats
or visit the DEHP's website:www.ehp.qld.gov.au