LOOKING at the furry face of a 24-day-old grey-headed flying fox, it's hard to believe people are legally allowed to shoot them.
But that is the reality now the Queensland Government has begun to re-issue shooting permits for the misunderstood animals ... and people like Sylvia Hood are disgusted.
And that disgust was on public display yesterday when members of Bat Rescue Inc joined the Grey Cross Movement by hanging inverted crosses in trees outside Mudjimba Community Hall.
The crosses symbolised the plight of thousands of flying foxes which will be shot - a move which horrifies members of an organisation dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and relocating the animals.
"Shooting doesn't actually stop bats, they're just reducing the population but they will never eliminate them all," Mrs Hood, the group's president said.
"It's a waste of time and a really cruel practice.
"Our main aim is to help orphaned flying foxes and micro bats.
"We are trying to change the public's perception towards bats, which has been quite negative."
While flying foxes have been blamed for spreading the deadly hendra virus, she said only a very small percentage were actually carriers.
"Very few people have died from the hendra virus and the Lyssavirus.
"We've been handling flying foxes and bats for decades and no one has contracted a disease."
And there were other non-lethal ways for farmers to get rid of bats.
"A very small percent of farmers are affected by bats," she said.
"Most farmers have exclusion netting which is the only real protection from all animals as it's not just bats but possums and birds as well."
Ms Hood and other volunteers at Bat Rescue Inc believed that these permits won't work because people won't stick to their quotas.
>> IF YOU FIND A BAT
- Don't touch it - Bat Rescue Inc insists that no one touches a bat, whether wearing protection or not.
- Call either the Wilvo Hotline on 07 5441 6200 or the RSPCA hotline on 1300 264 625.