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Sunday, June 10, 2012

All Bats are gone!

I casually snapped this picture on 19 May 2012.
  I met a friend at the Sydney Botanic Gardens. We had coffee, a nice walk and spotted the two owls. We looked at the bats, but light was harsh, sky was bright and the only reason I took this photo was just to remember the beautiful combination - pink blossom, green leaves and orange Flying Foxes. 

I could have never imagined that this would be my last bat photo in the Gardens. I knew that the park authorities wanted to get rid of the bats. I read that finally the government had allowed the operation to begin.

I went to the gardens last Saturday after taking some photos of the Sea Shepherd ships docked at Circular Quay.

I thought there would probably be fewer bats this time.

There wasn't even one!

The Gardens felt deserted, empty and dead.
The cockatoos must have been scared by the noises too. Only the big owl was there as his fig is relatively far from where the bat colony used to be. There were ibises and cormorants in the pond.

For the nearly 10 years since I first came to Sydney I have taken the bats for granted. I've considered them to be one of the most unusual an exciting features of this city, a sign that its people can coexist with wildlife better than most others.

I've always thought that some day I'll get a better camera and lens, will find the ideal weather and light and will take amazing photos of bats in flight. This will never happen.
Here are three of the better Flying Fox photos from the past. Let's say 'Good bye' to them. I'm very sad.
Grey-headed Flying Foxes, NSW
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