Bats drop dead as heatwave intensifies in UP’s Kanpur

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Kanpur (UP), June 19 (IANS): In a worrying factor, several bats were found dead in the Nana Rao Park in Kanpur due to the intense heatwave that has gripped the region.  

The carcasses were found in the park, where hundreds of bats live. Locals said they encountered bats falling from the trees, writhing in pain on the ground before succumbing to the heat.

With temperatures breaching the 45 degrees Celsius mark, locals added that bats were dying in large numbers in the park and the accumulation of carcasses resulted in a foul smell throughout the park.

Bats play an important role in habitats around the world and in India. Some tropical plants depend partly or wholly on certain bat species to pollinate their flowers or spread their seeds, while many bats help control insects by feeding on them and save farmers thousands of rupees in pest control chemicals.

Dr Anurag Singh, a veterinary officer at Kanpur Zoo, said bats are particularly susceptible to heat as they feel temperatures two degrees Celsius higher than humans.

"When the temperature in Kanpur hits 44 to 45 degrees Celsius, bats experience it as 47 to 48 degrees. Their suffering is compounded by the lack of accessible water sources, leading to heat strokes," Dr Singh said.

He said that to prevent bats from dying, areas under trees should be kept moist and filled with water so that these animals get some relief from the relentless heat.