Australian grey-headed fruit bat / flying fox, Pteropus poliocephalus, wings open, hanging in tree against blue sky, in the wild

- Image ID: F75RRM
Australian grey-headed fruit bat / flying fox, Pteropus poliocephalus, wings open, hanging in tree against blue sky, in the wild
Image ID: F75RRM
Although they play an important role in the pollination of native plant species, fruit bats, which are commonly referred to as 'flying foxes', are unwelcome, particularly when they roost, as these animals were doing, close to residential areas. They are despised by orchardists as they damage fruit crops, and they are carriers of the deadly disease known as 'Hendra virus'. This disease is contracted by horses and can be transferred to humans who come in contact with either infected horses or the bats themselves. A vaccination has recently been developed to counter the virus, but several people have died from this terrifying disease.
Location: Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia