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Summer Rescue Videos

We’ve been very busy rescuing orphaned and injured bats this summer. Included below are videos of Ernie, a young free-tailed bat rescued after being trapped inside a vacant building for at least two days; Mama Bear,, who suffered blunt force trauma; Munchkinface, who suffered a “lucky” fall; Gigi, a beautiful Seminole bat; and a free-tailed juvie who likely walked a mile on hot pavement before being rescued.

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Mr. Impley

Mr Impley-inmemoryMr. Impley, a Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis)  was retired to Bat World with over a dozen more of his kind in 1994. The bats were involved in DNA research. The project involved taking notches from the ears as well as toe samples from the bats.

Despite this, Impley remained trusting of humans and looked forward to his daily honeydew treats at Bat World Sanctuary. During the last year of his life Impley developed arthritis which left him unable to groom so he was gently brushed every morning by his caregivers. Mr. Impley passed away on June 27, 2016, leaving an empty spot in the hearts of everyone at Bat World Sanctuary.

 

Bat Tattoo Contest & Fundraiser!

This contest was created to help us raise funds to care for orphaned and injured bats.

Each tattoo (see below) has been assigned a number which donors will use when casting their votes. The tattoo receiving the most votes wins an autographed, matted print of Peekaboo as shown below. The winner will also receive a plush bat of their choice. Limit one tattoo per person. Deadline for submission is June 30th, midnight CST.

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Click to view tattoos


THE TATTOS

Click the image to be taken to a page to view the 50+ tattoos. Each tattoo is assigned a number. Once you pick your favorite, return here to donate/vote. When voting please be sure to list the number of the tattoo you are voting on in the notes section. Each dollar donated counts as one vote. Voting will take place from July 1st through July 10th. Winner will be notified on or by July 12th.
 
 
WINNER: Congrats to bat tat owner #54! Here is the final count:

#54 – 176 votes
#01 – 120 votes
#25 – 83 votes
#12 – 75 votes
#13 – 65 votes
#06 – 55 votes
#43 – 35 votes
#34 – 30 votes
#40 – 30 votes
#30 – 11 votes
#20 – 11 votes
#41 – 10 votes
#50 – 10 votes
#11 – 10 votes
#34 – 8 votes
#33 – 5 votes
#48 – 5 votes
#04 – 4 votes
#07 – 3 votes
#18 – 1 vote
#02 – 1 vote
#24 – 1vote
#15 – 1 vote
#27 – 1 vote
#30 – 1 vote
#36 – 1 vote

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Andy

It is with a heavy heart that we bring you the news that Andy, a Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis), passed away on June 3, 2016, two months after his 15th birthday.

Andy was born at Bat World Sanctuary on April 12, 2001. Free-tailed bats are estimated to live 15 years in the wild, however,  Andy’s mother, Andrea, passed away in 2011 at the age of 19. Andy was an accidental birth and part of a behavioral study conducted on the mating behavior of T. brasiliensis, published in the Southwestern Naturalist.

Andy never learned to feed himself in captivity so he was hand fed twice daily every single day. During his life span with us he received 11,052 hand fed meals. Goodbye sweet Andy, you are sorely missed, especially twice a day at feeding time.

This video created in celebration of Andy’s 15th Birthday.

Saving the Palestine Bats

The city of Palestine, Texas loves their bats.

They have had thousands of bats roosting in their downtown buildings for several years. And even though they sometimes create an odor, the city wants the bats to stay in the area because of the tremendous amount of insect control these bats provide.

Kate Rugroroden, Bat World's Director of Special Projects, meets with Palestine city officials
Kate Rugroroden, Bat World’s Director of Special Projects, meets with Palestine city officials

On May 21, 2016, Bat World’s Director of Special Projects, Kate Rugroden, met with approximately 15 residents and local officials from the City of Palestine and members of the East Texas Chapter of Master Naturalists, to discuss how best to handle the humane removal and ultimate preservation of several colonies of bats from historic buildings in the downtown Palestine area.

Several ideas were discussed, including installing bat houses on the affected buildings and installing ‘rocket’ style bat towers throughout the city. We also covered ways to engage the community, such as a bat fair, bat house building events, educational programs, and news articles/press releases.

One promising idivanhoe2ea being considered is creating a sanctuary that has sufficient space around it for a decent perimeter as well as places to build patios for viewing. One building (built in 1913) suffered a catastrophic structural failure some years ago. Originally a 4-story structure, the 3rd and 4th floors collapsed and the roof fell in. One suggestion, which seems to have a lot of traction, is to have that building fitted out as a bat sanctuary. There are open areas on three sides of the building which would establish a safe perimeter and allow businesses to set up viewing areas, where visitors could watch the nightly emergence. The fourth side of the building contains large picture windows. The local middle and high school students could be given the opportunity to design educational window displays, paint murals, etc. City staff would be responsible for checking the building periodically, removing excess guano and ensuring the building is secure.

The project is expected to take several years to complete, given the number of buildings involved. The East Texas Master Naturalists will be active participants, assisting with outreach, public education, and building bat houses. Bat World Sanctuary’s involvement will include consulting on design and placement of bat houses, educational programs and materials, and providing contact information for additional resources.

We are extremely pleased to be part of this wonderful initiative, and the enthusiasm demonstrated by the people of Palestine for protecting the bats is encouraging beyond measure.

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Daffodil

March 2006 – April 11, 2016

Daffodil, a street rescue that came to us in 2006 with an embedded collar, passed away on April 11th, 2016 from a tumor that was diagnosed too late to successfully treat. Daffy loved to interact with volunteers and waited in line for sweet potato pieces (the ends that were cut off the potatoes served to the fruit bats on kabobs). She also loved to play “crevice-dwelling bat” in her bed. Her position at Bat World Sanctuary included volunteer greeter and “UPS alerter”. Daffy, along with Kizmet, are buried on Bat World’s land in a beautiful spot under a big oak tree. Daffodil bulbs were planted over Daffy’s grave in her Honor.  Good bye, sweet Daffodil, we will always love you. ♥

Daffy-crevice bat

Happy Bat Appreciation Day!

Thank you, wonderful bat people, for supporting our rescue efforts for the most underappreciated mammal on earth! Please enjoy a few of  our most recent videos 🙂

Fruit Bats play with New Toys:

Rescuing Veri:

Happy Birthday, Andy!

Nosey Flies Free:

Thank you for your continued support of Bat World Sanctuary. If you would like to donate to help more bats like Veri, Andy and Nosey, please click here.

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The Houston Four

On February 3rd, 2016, a plea for help on our Facebook page about an issue in Houston, Texas that involved an elderly woman beating free-tailed bats with her cane. The news video that was included made it appear as though the woman was helpless and the bats were invading her home. However, free-tailed bats are shy and secretive. They hide in cracks and crevices as well as attics and caves. They do not hang out in the open. These bats would have to be pulled out of their roost in order to be beaten. Free-tailed bats have an intelligence level equivalent to that of dolphins. They have a complicated social structure that includes over 25 different vocalizations that make up their language. Mother free-tails only have one young per year and if anything happens to her pup, a mother will openly grieve for days with her mournful cries. Free-tailed bats are capable of eating up to 5,000 harmful flying insects nightly and they have a lifespan of over 15 years. Each bat that this woman killed had the potential of eating 27,375,000 harmful insects in its lifetime.

Because Houston is 300 miles from Bat World Sanctuary, we immediately alerted rescuers in the area well as Marcelino Benito, the reporter at KHOU 11 news who covered the story and asked to be contacted if anyone could help. We left messages with Mr. Benito through email and his Facebook page that night as well as the following morning. We also put in calls first thing the following morning to our local game warden, KHOU 11 news, and our good friends at 911Wildlife, a 911Wildlife Logohumane exclusion company who works on behalf of wildlife as well as people. 911Wildlife was founded by Bonnie Bradshaw, a fellow wildlife rehabilitator. With offices throughout Texas, including Houston, they were able to immediately respond to this tragedy. 911Wildlife arrived at the woman’s house early that same morning and donated their time and equipment to humanely exclude the bats so no more would be needlessly killed. They also did a thorough search for survivors. Sadly, only five bats out of potentially hundreds survived her beatings. The 911Wildife crew transferred these tiny, broken souls to a local rescuer we had on standby, and the Houston Five are now with Bat World Sanctuary.

Later, we sent an email to Mr. Benito asking why he didn’t actually seek help for this woman. Having access to the internet granted him a wealth of information he could have easily used to help her. Instead, he chose to demonize bats in his report while filming her sickening brutality -which had apparently been going on for years. Mr. Benito never responded to any of my emails or Facebook messages, nor the messages of dozens of other conservation-minded supporters. Many people wrote to express their extreme disappointment at the lack of any helpful information that KHOU 11 news provided for this woman or the bats. Instead, they chose to sensationalize bats and deepen the fears of people who don’t know better.

The five bats were transferred to a rescuer we had on standby, and the following evening they arrived at our rescue center Bat World MidCities where Kate Rugroden, our Director of Special Projects stayed up most of the night treating and stabilizing their injuries. Sadly, one of the five survivors, Ella, died the following morning.

If there is a brighter note to this story it is that dozens of people came together in a show of concern for these bats and the elderly woman as well. And best of all, this colony of bats will no longer be in harms way since they have been humanely excluded. A very special thank you to Bonnie and her crew at 911Wildlife – the bats would not have had a chance without your intervention. Thank you, Marsha P., who remained on standby to receive the bats and thank you, Marzi P., who made an 11-hour trip in one day to transport the bats back to our Mid-Cities rescue center.

The remaining survivors, Timmy, Dash,  Jane Ann, and Bee have fully recovered and will live their lives at our Bat World MidCities rescue center. Going forward, the Houston Four will always know the peace, comfort and respect they so deserve.

The Houston Four, fully recovered.
The Houston Four, fully recovered.

 

Bat World Sanctuary earns GFAS Accreditation

It is heartwarming to see animals that are so often misunderstood and mistreated receiving the high quality, life-long care and respect they deserve at Bat World Sanctuary. Bat World Sanctuary truly maintains the welfare of the bats as their highest priority as demonstrated by their individualized intensive care of non-releasable bats and the extremely high survival rates of the bats they rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild”, says, Kellie Heckman, Executive Director of GFAS

Achieving GFAS Accreditation means Bat World Sanctuary meets the comprehensive and rigorous definition of an exceptional sanctuary and as such provides humane and responsible care for bats and meets the rigorous standards for operations, administration, and veterinary care established by GFAS. The accreditation status provides a clear and trusted means for public, donors, and government agencies to recognize and trust Bat World Sanctuary as an true sanctuary.

GFAS-BWS-Certficate-web

Read the full Press Release here.

The Houston Five

By Amanda Lollar, Founder & President

On February 3rd, 2016, around 10pm, I was just wrapping up the day when I saw a plea for help on our Facebook page from Lisa G, about an issue in Houston Texas that involved an elderly woman beating helpless free-tailed bats to death with her cane. (Caution, disturbing video on this link.)

dead bats on porchThe video sickened me to the core, and I was further frustrated by the fact that Houston is over 300 miles away from Bat World Sanctuary. The video also made it appear as though the woman was helpless and the bats were invading her home. However, free-tailed bats are shy and secretive. They hide in cracks and crevices as well as attics and caves. They do not hang out in the open. These bats would have to be pulled out of their roost in order to be beaten to death. Keep in mind that these animals have an intelligence level equivalent to that of dolphins. They have a complicated social structure that includes over 25 different vocalizations that make up their language. Mother free-tails only have one young per year and if anything happens to her pup, a mother will openly grieve for days with her mournful cries. Free-tailed bats are capable of eating up to 5,000 harmful flying insects nightly and they have a lifespan of over 15 years. Each bat that was killed had the potential of eating 27,375,000 harmful insects in its lifetime.

911Wildlife LogoBecause it was so late, my only recourse was to alert rescuers in the area as well as Marcelino Benito, the reporter at KHOU 11 News who covered the story and asked to be contacted if anyone could help. I left messages with Mr. Benito through email and his Facebook page that night as well as the following morning. I also put in calls first thing the following morning to our local game warden, KHOU 11 news, and our good friends at 911Wildlife, a humane exclusion company who works on behalf of wildlife as well as people. 911Wildlife was founded by Bonnie Bradshaw, a fellow wildlife rehabilitator. With offices throughout Texas, including Houston, they were able to immediately respond to this tragedy. 911Wildlife arrived at the woman’s house early that same morning and donated their time and equipment to humanely exclude the bats so no more would be needlessly killed. They also did a thorough search for survivors. Sadly, only five bats out of potentially hundreds survived her beatings. The 911Wildife crew transferred these tiny, broken souls to a local rescuer we had on standby, and the Houston Five are now with Bat World Sanctuary.

Later, I sent an email to Mr. Benito asking why he didn’t actually seek help for this woman. Having access to the internet granted him a wealth of information he could have easily used to help her. Instead, he chose to demonize bats in his report while filming her sickening brutality -which had apparently been going on for years. He even stood by while still-alive bats were thrown into a trash bag. Mr. Benito never responded to any of my emails or Facebook messages, nor the messages of dozens of other conservation-minded supporters. Many people wrote to express their extreme disappointment at the lack of any helpful information that KHOU 11 news provided for this woman or the bats.  Instead, they chose to sensationalize bats and deepen the fears of people who don’t know better.

If there is a brighter note to this story it is that this colony of bats will no longer be in harms way since they have been humanely excluded. Dozens of people came together in a show of concern for these bats and the elderly woman as well. Thank you to all of you who emailed and called us out of concern for these bats, and thank you, especially Bonnie and crew at 911Wildlife – the bats would not have had a chance without your intervention. Thank you, Marsha P., who received the bats and thank you, Marzi P., who made an 11-hour trip in one day to transport the bats back to our Mid-Cities rescue center, where Kate, our Director of Special Projects stayed up most of the night treating and stabilizing the survivors.

The Houston Five

As of this morning, the Houston Five -Timmy, Dash, Ella, Jane Ann, and Bee- are slowly recovering. Dash is in the best shape; she has some facial abrasions and internal bruising, but no fractures. Ella and Jane Ann are not in quite as good shape; they both had to have a full amputation and also have internal bruising. Timmy and Bee are in the worst shape; Timmy had a wing amputation and also a broken leg while Bee had a full amputation and severe internal injuries. All five bats are resting comfortably now, with pain medication, antibiotics, and vitamin supplements and all have started eating decent amounts of food (an increase in appetite is always a good sign!). They will remain in a ‘Hospital Hut’ for a few more days while their injuries stabilize. All of the bats are also receiving an iron supplement as they are anemic due to internal injuries. We are cautiously optimistic that they will all pull through, however, we will not be confident for at least another week.

Note: While amputations of a wing may seem extreme, bats, like dogs, can live rich, full lives without the use of a limb. The highly social and terrestrial nature of free-tailed bats in particular allows them to enjoy life outside of flight.

UPDATE – Feb 8, 2016:
Sadly, Ella passed away the day after posting this story, however, the remaining Houston Four, under the expert care of Kate Rugroden, our Director of Special projects, have now fully recovered. They will live their lives out in peace and comfort at our Bat World MidCities rescue center.

UPDATE – Feb 24, 2016:
The four survivors, now known as The Houston Four, have fully recovered and have adjusted to their new life at our rescue center, Bat World MidCities. The photo below was taken 2/24/16.

The Houston Four, fully recovered.
The Houston Four, fully recovered.

 

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