Peru is battling an emergency outbreak of rabies as vampire bats rage across the countryside.

So far, four children have died after being bitten by the bloodsucking mammals.  Health workers are scurrying to give out rabies vaccines as more than 500 people have been attacked.

Experts think that the massive bat attacks are due to deforestation in the Amazon.

The rabies outbreak has taken place in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon, near Ecuadorian border.

Vampire bats prefer to feed on wildlife, but they have been known to attack humans when in need of food, especially in places where their rainforest habitat has been plundered.

Others suggest that this outbreak may be the result of especially low temperatures the Peruvian Amazon in recent years.