August 2009 – July 4, 2013
It has been said that bats are the realization of the Fairy of the Wood, keeper of the caves, custodians to the secrets of the night. And so it was on a hot August night in 2009, like a heavenly angel descending through the darkened sky, came Ethereal. One of the rarest bats in the entire world, a completely white (albino) micro bat, seen approximately once every 7-10 years by those involved in the world of bats.
Ethereal was found seeking refuge at Bat World’s wild sanctuary, scampering and slipping as she tried to make her way across a beam. She was very thin, under-nourished and in poor condition. She was quickly recovered from the beam and brought into the hospital at Bat World. She was only a juvenile, petite and gentle; not yet full grown, but her sweet personality was already distinctive.
Albino bats are easy prey for predatory birds and other nocturnal creatures. Because there was an owl perched near the wild sanctuary, Ethereal is an effortless target. We decided to take her into protective care so she could live her life without fear of predators.
Albinos are often not as long lived as other mammals as they can be predisposed to health problems. Ethereal passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly from pneumonia, likely brought on by albinism immunodeficiency as it did not respond to treatment. She passed away not quite reaching 4 years of age.
Goodbye precious Ethereal, our sweet little Fairy of the Wood. There will never be another soul like yours, and you will be forever missed.