- By Suzanne MerkelsonSuzanne Merkelson is an editorial assistant at Foreign Policy.
File this one under "things that are scarier than the Twilight series": The BBC reports that four children in Peru’s Awajun indigenous tribe have died in a recent outbreak of rabies spread by vampire bats. In total, 500 people have been attacked by these bloodsucking mammals in the community of Urakusa in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon. Peru’s Health Ministry has sent emergency teams of aid workers to this remote village to administer rabies vaccines.
According to the BBC, the mass attack may be linked to deforestation:
Vampire bats usually feed on wildlife or livestock, but are sometimes known to turn to humans for food, particularly in areas where their rainforest habitat has been destroyed.
Some local people have suggested this latest outbreak of attacks may be linked to the unusually low temperatures the Peruvian Amazon in recent years.