FLYING FOXES: The Sunshine Coast and Gympie Hospital and Health Service Public Health Unit is urging locals and visitors not to touch bats, even if they seem sick, injured or dead..
FLYING FOXES: The Sunshine Coast and Gympie Hospital and Health Service Public Health Unit is urging locals and visitors not to touch bats, even if they seem sick, injured or dead..

Gympie residents warned to not touch bats

THE Sunshine Coast and Gympie Hospital and Health Service Public Health Unit is urging locals and visitors not to touch bats, even if they seem sick, injured or dead.

Public health physician Dr Madhumati Chatterji said that as conditions become hotter and

drier, the chance of seeing sick, injured or dead bats increases.

‘Prisoners in our homes: Calls to move Gympie’s bat infestation

“Hot weather, fires and smoke can affect bats, and people may want to help them, however, we strongly urge members of the public to avoid touching bats,” Dr Chatterji said.

Perrett: Flying foxes must be moved from Gympie homes urgently

Flying foxes in Gympie
Flying foxes in Gympie

“Bats can infect people with Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV). ABLV is like the rabies virus, and infection can be fatal. All bats are considered to be potential carriers of ABLV, which is why only trained and vaccinated professionals should handle them.

“ABLV can be spread from bats to people through a bat bite, scratch or by getting bat saliva in the eyes, nose or mouth.

The Sunshine Coast and Gympie Hospital and Health Service Public Health Unit is urging locals and visitors not to touch bats, even if they seem sick, injured or dead.. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
The Sunshine Coast and Gympie Hospital and Health Service Public Health Unit is urging locals and visitors not to touch bats, even if they seem sick, injured or dead.. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

For about a year, a growing roost of grey-headed flying foxes has been distressing residents and causing damage in Commissioner’s Gully, in the heart of Gympie, and Gympie MP Tony Perret has called on the Gympie Regional Council to act.

“I’ve received numerous emotional complaints about problems at Commissioners Gully, Gympie, and at Cooloola Cove,” Mr Perrett said.

Tony Perrett says it is a matter of urgency to move a colony of flying foxes in the heart of Gympie.
Tony Perrett says it is a matter of urgency to move a colony of flying foxes in the heart of Gympie.

“Parents need to make sure children also know not to touch bats.

“Bat claws and teeth are very sharp and can penetrate thick gloves or a towel, hence do not attempt to rescue an injured, sick or dead bat.”

Video and audio of interview with Dr Chatterji is available at:

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/sunshinecoast/news-and-media/media-resources

Gympie Times


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