Hundreds of thousands of fruit bats have taken over a town in Australia, wreaking havoc throughout the community.

Local parks in Ingham, a town in Queensland, have become overrun by swarms of the bats, also known as flying foxes, as tree branches break due to the weight of the bats hanging from them.

The main colony, located down the road from the nearby hospitals, has forced emergency helicopters to land elsewhere as they can no longer get close without interference from the bats.

Bats are protected under Queensland state law, limiting the ways the local government can respond to the infestation.

Australian bats are known to carry the lyssavirus, a rabies-like diseases transmitted through scratches and bites.

All three confirmed cases of bat-transmitted lyssavirus in Australia have been fatal.