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Bats are dying due to the prevailing heat wave conditions in a village in Odisha's Jajpur district and efforts are on to save the remaining winged mammals there by spraying water on them, a forest department official said on Monday.
As many as eight bats died due to excessive heat in the past three days at Kabatabandha village under Dharmasala block, which is the habitat of thousands of such species. They are considered a sign of good luck for the locals.
"On being informed by the villagers that bats are dying due to the excessive heat wave condition, we went to the spot. We are spraying water on them through sprinklers to save them from the scorching heat for the past couple of days," local forester Md Sakir Housen said.
The bats are night dwellers and they hang from trees during the day.
"As the bats get direct exposure to the heat wave, they fall and die," he said.
Housen said the spraying of water on the bats in Kabatabandha will continue until the weather condition improves.
Kabatabandha village, barely eight kilometres away from the Kalinga Nagar industrial complex, has been a safe habitat for the bats where their screech can be heard throughout the day.
At least 5000 bats are found on three big and old trees by the side of the Brahmani river.
Villagers have been protecting and preserving the winged mammals for the last two decades.
"We are protecting bats as we consider them sacred. They make our village a rare place in the area," said Keshab Chandra Sahu, a villager of Kabatabandha.
Meanwhile, Baripada town in north Odisha's Mayurbhanj district becomes the hottest place in the state of the day, recording a maximum temperature of 44.2 degrees Celsius which was 6.1 degrees C more than the normal temperature of the place, the met office said.
Baripada was followed by Boudh and Nuapada with 43.5 degrees C each, Jharsuguda (43.4 degrees C), Talcher and Sambalpur (43.2 degrees C each), Titlagarh and Angul (43.1 degrees C) and Bolangir (43 degrees C) respectively.
While Cuttack reeled under 41.6 degrees C, Bhubaneswar's maximum teacher is 39.9 degrees C, IMD said.
The prevalence of heat spell was felt in all the regions of the state - western, southern, interior and coastal parts.
In a letter to the district collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Sambalpur, the Special Relief Commissioner said that as per the mid-day bulletin issued by IMD, heat wave condition is very likely to prevail at one or two places over these districts till 8.30 AM of April 19.
However, amid the prevailing heat spell, the IMD has forecast that several places in Odisha will experience thunderstorms in the next five days.