Melbourne has a population of Grey-headed flying foxes that I haven’t seen yet. Apparently they only live 3.2 kilometers in a north east direction from my house. You’d think I’d have seen them by now.
They used to live in the Royal Botanic Gardens, but the 20,000 strong family kind of messed the place up a bit. Destroying plants that were planted a long time ago by some noteable person or something, you know how it goes. So instead of killing a chunk of the group, which was the government’s first idea, (I know, wtf?) they moved them out to the suburbs.
I’ve been reading into it, trying to figure out how they did it, but I still have no idea. Something to do with cages? But surely that wouldn’t work; they’d just fly back wouldn’t they? Secret government/environmentalist magic I suppose.
The bats aren’t exactly native to Melbourne. They decided to call the city home in the early 80’s. They have always been seasonal visitors, but one year a bunch got left behind during winter, they found a reliable food source, and within 20 years, BANG, big ol’ ‘splosion of little winged rats that loved their new city as much as the humans who move here from all over the country.
Once winter is over and the bats come out of their torpor (new word to add to the vocabulary; torpor is a short-term state of decreased physiological activity. Wow!), I hope I’ll see many of them. The view from the smoking-window in my apartment is very pretty as it is; if groups of bats started to fly across the sunset… I think I might lose my shit.
I’ll be taking notes and doing more research to help me decide if it is worth smuggling a few of them into Western Australia.
Interesting factoid in relation to Grey-headed flying foxes: as their population in Melbourne increased, so did Melbourne’s culture of awesome, at approximately the same rate…The Birthday Party disbanded around the time flying foxes settled in Victoria. Which led to the formation of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Which helped Nick kick the junk habit…everything has been coming up Nick once the bats came to town. Something to keep in mind.