A COLONY of bats has forced the Albury Council to temporarily shutdown a section of the city's botanic gardens that contains a children's area.
The council announced this afternoon the immediate closure of the south-west part of the gardens because of fears over the bats being affected by the continuing heatwave.
The Office of Environment and Heritage recommended the sealing off as a precaution because extreme heat may force the bats down to ground level.
A colony of 450 bats has been nesting in branches around the children's garden over recent weeks.
The council's acting director of community and recreation Rebecca Bates said the closure was likely to apply until early next week.
“This heatwave may change the behaviour of the bats and we don’t want to expose people using the gardens to unnecessary risk," Ms Bates said.
"We’ve been advised by the State Government that a temporary closure will reduce the risk of humans coming into contact with the bats.”