July 1995 – March 2003
We are saddened to announce the loss of Putter, a long-term resident of Bat World Sanctuary. In March of 2003 Putter became ill and refused to eat either of her twice daily hand-fed meals. The following morning she passed away. A necropsy revealed an undersized heart. It appeared that after seven years, her tiny heart just gave out.
Putter was found at Bat World’s wild sanctuary building in Texas when she was about three days old. She was orphaned, barely an inch long, and deformed. Both legs were very stiff at the knees, virtually frozen in a “legs-crossed” sitting position (photo left). With such a severe handicap, she was not releasable.
A comfortable brace was used to gently stretch the frozen ligaments in her legs. The device was made using a tiny section of rubber catheter. Soft foam hobbles made from a facial sponge held her feet in place (photo right). Putter seemed to understand and accept the brace right away. With her legs stretched out behind her, she was able to hang up-side down for the first time in her life.
Hours and hours of daily therapy eventually turned into weeks and weeks. The therapy involved minuscule hot packs, made from cotton swabs, for each stiff knee, combined with slow, gentle leg stretches. Progress was made millimeter by millimeter, until finally, Putter was able to stretch her weak legs out and “putter” around all by herself. Putter became known as the “little bat that could.” She was able to carry on a normal captive lifestyle and lived with a non-releasable colony of over 50 of her kind.
Putter was part of our Adopt-a-Bat program. Many of our caring members were touched by Putter’s story and helped Bat World by contributing to her support. To all those who were so generous, thank you; Putter lived for seven happy years with your help.