With temperatures reaching up to 44.2C in parts of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, some local wildlife is struggling to survive.
Hundreds of flying foxes have dropped dead in the sky as their brains “fry” in the searing heat.
In Campbelltown, NSW, at least 204 of the flying foxes have died, most of them infants.
Kate Ryan, the colony manager for the Campbelltown bats, told the Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser: “They basically boil.
“It affects their brain — their brain just fries and they become incoherent.”
A spokesman from the charity Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown said: “The efforts of our volunteers yesterday was both heroic and heartbreaking.
“In extremely trying conditions they worked tirelessly to provide sub-cutaneous fluids to the pups that could be reached and many lives were saved.
“But sadly many lives were lost too.
“Hundreds of mainly young flying-foxes were lost to the heat yesterday and the final count could run to thousands.”
The group added on their Facebook page: “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.”
There are at least 60 species of flying fox, which are native to large parts of Asia, Australia, Africa and islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Although they may look like something out of a horror movie, they are by no means bloodsuckers – they feed exclusively on nectar, blossoms, pollen and fruit.
The largest species, known as the large flying fox, can have a wingspan of up 4ft 11.
More than half of all extant species are threatened with extinction.