More than 200 bats have lost their lives to southern Australia’s ongoing heat wave. As temperatures rose to 111.5 degrees Fahrenheit (44.2 degrees Celsius) in Campbelltown in the Australian state of New South Wales, a colony of flying fox bats that lives near the town’s train station felt the effects. Volunteers struggled to rescue the heat-stricken bats, according to the Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser, but at least 204 individual animals, mostly babies, died. “They basically boil,” Kate Ryan, the colony manager for the Campbelltown bats, told the newspaper.

“It affects their brain — their brain just fries and they become incoherent.” Rescuers with Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown posted on their Facebook page details of the dire situation: “As the dead bodies were recovered and placed in a pile for a head count the numbers had reached 200 not including the many hundreds that were still left in trees being unreachable, sadly a few adults were also included in the body count. It was a long and heartbreaking afternoon…” READ MORE