RESCUE ECHO

It is extremely unfortunate that fruit bats occasionally enter the exotic pet trade through zoo closures and unscrupulous animal dealers. Some of these dealers operate under the guise of “conservation”. While some buyers have the bat’s best interest in mind, most do not understand the consequences. Exotic pet owners are often “blinded by misguided love” and sometimes don’t realize the dangers of keeping a bat, tiger or an adult chimpanzee in their home. Others are in it simply for the notoriety and/or the money made from buying and selling these animals. Many enjoy showing off in photos or videos with their exotic baby victim in tow, sometimes done under the premise of “education”. Newborn wild animals are pulled from their mothers so they can pose with the public in photo opportunities. Once grown, they often end up in substandard roadside zoos and private menageries. Most accredited zoos long ago stopped the unhealthy practice of pulling newborn  animals from their mothers because they realize that it deprives infants of proper nutrition and causes behavioral problems.

This is the story of Echo, who was recently purchased as a youngster by Lisa’s Creatures, who is with East Valley Wildlife. She was removed from her mother and sold by Scott Heindrick, who runs an operation called the Flying Fox Conservation Fund. Click to view Lisa Limbert’s facebook and Twitter posts.

Echo the baby fruit bat appearing confused and frightened in the dog crate in which she is confined. Photo Source: facebook.com/lisascreatures. Click to enlarge.

After the bat arrived to Lisa’s Creatures, owner Lisa Limbert posted photos of the frightened baby on her facebook page, and admitted she was not familiar with the complicated care required for this species, stating “Well Pamela, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I’m not actually sure how big Echo will get….  This is new for me, so we will all be learning together.”

Additionally, Limbert is housing the baby in a small wire cage intended as a permanent home, and allegedly attempted to feed the young fruit bat yogurt and fruit flavored tums, items which could have caused the death of Echo had they been consumed. Fortunately we were able to supply a proper diet through other bat groups who have also been communicating with Ms. Limbert about the cruel confinement, potential health hazards, and additional liabilities associated in housing a flighted bat inside her home.

Lisa’s Creatures facebook page states: “Lisa’s Creatures works exclusively through the parks and rec system for the cities of Chandler and Gilbert Arizona. Lisa’s Creatures” is a privately held collection of ambassador animals. Lisa is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator by Arizona Game and Fish. Her animals are held under state and federal permits. “Lisa’s Creatures” is the educational program for East Valley Wildlife and is accessible through the parks and rec department of Chandler and Gilbert Arizona.” Click here to see a list of Lisa’s Creatures animals and USDA inspection reports.

Inside the Exotic Pet Trade
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, second only to drugs and weapons on the black market. It’s a $15 billion dollar business in the United States alone, with breeders and dealers selling animals over the Internet or in trade magazines. Millions of animals are forced into the exotic pet trade every year for the purpose of becoming someone’s pet or entertaining the masses in a circus or roadside zoo. Sadly, Ms. Limbert has stated that, rather than give Echo to a qualified sanctuary, she will send Echo to “one of her ZAA buddies” which possibly is an even worse fate than keeping the bat confined to cage the size of a dog crate.

REGULATIONS
USDA regulations: Subpart F species that fly (i.e., bats) must be provided with sufficient unobstructed enclosure volume to enable movement by flying and sufficient roosting space to allow all individuals to rest simultaneously.

R12-4-402. Live Wildlife: Unlawful Acts B. If an individual lawfully possesses wildlife, but holds it in a manner that poses an actual or potential threat to other wildlife, or the safety, health, or welfare of the public, the Department shall seize, quarantine, or hold the wildlife.

R12-4-417. Wildlife Holding License: A. It is necessary for an individual to give humane treatment to restricted live wildlife that has been abandoned or permanently disabled, and is therefore unable to meet its own needs in the wild.

TAKE ACTION!


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Please also send a hard copy a letter to:

USDA/APHIS
2150 Centre Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117

Arizona Department of Health Services
150 North 18th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Fax: (602) 542-0883

Maricopa County Public Health
4041 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012

 

If you prefer to send your own email, please address your email to:
USDA, APHIS: ace@aphis.usda.gov
USDA, Western Region: acwest@aphis.usda.gov
City of Chandler: ariane.francis@chandleraz.gov
Town of Gilbert: parks@gilbertaz.gov
AZ Dept of Fish and Game: Tyler Vanvleet: tvanvleet@azgfd.gov

 

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RESCUE ECHO — 12 Comments

  1. Excellent – I was not aware of the USDA regulation. What a thorough, professional job you did on this! Honored to share it.

    With much respect,
    Deb Murphy

  2. I have worked as a volunteer in raptor rehabilitation and the first thing we were taught was that these animals are WILD animals and should never be viewed or treated as pets, even those who were permanently disabled, habituated and used in education programs. People were selected carefully and monitired to insure respect for the wildness of the animal was always in place. This should be a requirement for anyone who obtaines a wildlife license and I hope ECHO and the other exotic animals are removed from Lisa’s collection and her license is revoked!

    • Dara I am so happy to see your post. (First off, another Dara there aren’t that many of us) second it is obvious you share my love of bats as well as birds. I have for a long time been interested in what I can do to help, and have often thought of getting involved in wildlife rehabilitation. It sounds like the program you went through was a reputable, and excellent program. I would like to learn more about the program you went through, or others that you know are truly reputable.
      Thank you so much for being a true friend to wildlife.
      Dara Wein

  3. Has Echo (and the other wild animals) been rescued? It is a shame “Lisa” appears to reject useful information regarding bats and their unique needs. Her lack of response for so long gives me the sense that while her intentions may be good, she is in fact abusing animals. A lack of response is very unprofessional. Wild animals (and domesticated animals) can be very dangerous to others when frightened or misunderstood. “Lisa” does not appear to have the appropriate knowledge to be a “licensed wildlife rehabilitator”. Thank you for bringing her Facebook to our attention. Sincerely, Nancy McGinnis

  4. I am willing to do whatever it takes. I have launched a campaign to acquire the needed signatures and, as a professional writer and talented public speaker, will follow your lead in an attempt to thwart this woman’s right to care for animals about which she knows nothing.

    If you’d like to contact me, please do so. I am willing to to help get Echo to you, and then take financial responsibility for her care and comfort.

  5. My email is*****, and my phone is *****. Please contact me with whatever you need to help gain exposure and support for this cause. I want to do more to help Echo than simply sympathise.

  6. I signed I love bats they are very misunderstood and the poor thing deserves to live its life outside that cage :(
    If echo wasn’t being treated badly I see no harm in having a companion that’s different I had one myself
    I had a huge wall to wall walk in environment and in the end I paid to have the bat taken to its normal habitat I bought it as a baby from some guy and I felt bad he was talking of taxidermy at its adult age.so I took it in paid a ridiculous amount and ended up returning it to its natural habitat.best money I spent to date.i imagine it has a family and friends now out there somewhere instead of being preserved in someone’s house like a prize.i love bats but I believe they belong free to fly and live.i hope others sign for this lil one

  7. Signed. I have no problem with RESPONSIBLE exotic animal ownership. She has shown that she does not really know what she is doing. These animals need very large areas to fly. If anyones thinking about owning an exotic animal, they need to research!

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