Residents going batty after more than 100,000 bats suddenly invade their town

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Bateman's Bay might as well be called "Bats Bay" after more than 100,000 bats invaded the Australian town, just south of Sydney.

Officials are calling the invasion "unprecedented," as the grey-headed flying fox bats have never been seen in such large numbers, until now.

The trees are dripping with dangling bats, causing loud squeaking and large amounts of guano - also known as bat feces, that the flying mammals are leaving behind.

"The bats came and they are just out of control. We just can't do anything because of them," said resident Danielle Smith.

The large "megabats," which come with a three-foot wing span, are no danger to humans, as they only eat fruit.

And finding fruit could be the reason the bats moved from a more remote location to the Bateman's Bay area.

They are officially listed as a vulnerable species, and therefore, they must be removed in a non-lethal manner.

The Australian government has deemed the situation a "state of emergency," and has pledged $1.8 million to get rid of the bats, with ideas ranging from using smoke, with noise, and clearing the vegetation.

Animal rights groups, however, say those tactics will have no impact on the bats, and are instead calling for patience.

Glenys Oogjes with Animals Australia says, "Independent scientific reports have indicated that in fact the dispersal is high-risk and really won't work... We have to wait for the bats to move on, and they will."

The mayor says waiting isn't an option. "At the stage for the community, that's not an option because the community really does want to see some action on this matter. They've been living with this circumstance for a considerable period of time and causing a great deal of stress and distress to our community," Mayor Lindsay Brown said.

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