Stay calm and they will go away: flying fox carer
A WARWICK wildlife carer is "calling for calm" after reports of locals taking matters into their own hands in attempts to scare flying foxes away from Hamilton Oval.
The carer, who did not wish to be named, said members of the public were seen trespassing on school grounds at the weekend, honking their car horns as the bats came back to roost.
There had been unconfirmed reports of a school calf being scared by the loud noises and having to be put down after injuring itself trying to jump the fence.
The carer said people should stay calm and not hinder the work volunteers were doing to control the bats peacefully.
"People need to let the official process take its course with minimal risks and animal welfare issues," she said.
"I can understand people's negativity towards them; I don't agree with them, but I can understand they're nervous about the fact they're there, but they don't pose a risk to anyone if they leave them alone."
She said attitudes surrounding bats needed to change.
"The fact is, you have a whole tourist industry in Brisbane which revolves around these animals and do 'batty boat cruises' where people can look at them at night… it's almost the opposite of the feeling in (Warwick)," the carer said.
"The Ipswich council have signs up along a walking track that takes them past where the different colonies along the river roost saying 'Be quiet we're sleeping'. It's a totally different attitude to here."
The carer said often people mistook the way they took flight for swooping.
"The reason they're getting caught in the fence is they have to drop before they get lift to take flight," she said.
She said the problem would likely resolve itself soon, when it got cooler and the bats moved on.
"They're sticking around because of all the rain we've had, Cunningham's Gap is flowering at night where they feed and come back to the trees to roost after they've fed," the carer explained.
"From people I've spoken to, Bats Queensland and Bats Conservation, they have indicated it'll be a matter of weeks before they move on of their own accord.
"We'd just like to tell people to be calm, let the authorities take charge and move the process forward in what-ever way they see fit without (residents) putting themselves in contact with the bats or trespassing."