Mr. 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.
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.
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. ♥
Isis, an Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) came to us from an amusement park where she hung in a small glass cage and endured crowds of loud people gawking at her day and night (click here to read her story). Only when she was elderly and had developed cataracts was she finally allowed the peaceful life she deserved. It took her several weeks to trust her new caretakers and look forward to the melon treats that always came with soft voices. Toward the end Isis rarely left her little hammock that she liked to recline on with two other elderly Egyptian fruit bat friends. She passed away in her sleep on November 5, 2015. Good bye sweet Isis, you are sorely missed each and every day.
It is with a heavy heart that we bring you the news that Poppy, an Indian Flying Fox (Pteropus giganteus), has passed away. Poppy came to us in 2012 after being retired from a zoo where she was used for educational programs. She was often expected to “perform” by stretching our her wings, something she grew to dislike and consequently showed her displeasure by biting her handler. After she reached us it took her over a year to trust the fact that nothing would ever be required of her, she simply had to be herself. Over the past few months Poppy had become less active and liked to lay in her hammock where she was close to food and water. She eagerly looked forward to her twice daily treats that were hand delivered to her during daily checks. She left us all too soon on Oct. 27th, after suffering heart problems. Her life was filled with happiness at Bat World Sanctuary; we just wish her time with us could have been much, much longer. Please click here to read more about Poppy’s life with us.
Kizmet was a sheltie mix that we rescued from the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter in the year 2000. Unfortunately, she was plagued with health issues from the start due to a suppressed immune system, and within months of being rescued she developed both hip and knee dysplasia which required corrective surgery. Kizmet never missed a beat and overcame all of her handicaps, learning to run and play by hopping with her back legs while running with her front legs. She was an inspiration to every intern and volunteer who came to Bat World Sanctuary.
As Kizmet grew older she retired herself from the position of “dumpster truck alerter” and instead opted for the job of “office shredder”, a position she filled with great enthusiasm. She passed away on May 16, 2015 at 15 years of age. She was a beautiful dog with a tremendous personality and she left a hole in our hearts with her passing.
Fabio, a Jamaican fruit bat, was retired to Bat World Sanctuary in 1994 from a DNA research project involving a dozen of his kind. The project involved taking notices from the ears as well as toe samples from the bats. Understandably, Fabio was very distrusting of humans when he arrived. Outside of routine health checks,. we gave him the space and privacy he needed. In his older years he grew arthritic and needed help grooming his fur, and we gained his trust in the process. During the last three years of his life Fabio was groomed every morning. He grew to love the process as much as we did. Fabio passed away on March 26, 2015 at the age of 22. Rest in peace, sweet Fabio; we still miss you dearly.
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 was 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 on July 4th, 2013 from pneumonia, likely brought on by albinism immunodeficiency as her condition 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.
She spent the first ten years of her life in a New York apartment, in a dirty, bare, wooden-frame cage with a chicken wire ceiling. The young bat shared this cage with her only roostmate, her mother. The cage held no enrichment, no place to hide from the daylight, and no- where to sleep comfortably. Then, as fate would have it, the person who kept the mother and daughter bats in these conditions died, and their lives finally changed.
In January of 2000, Director of Mercer County Wildlife Center, in Titusville, NJ received the call about the bats after wildlife officials found numerous other exotic pets in the house of the man who had passed away. Their conditions improved at the center, and they were cared for by a staff of volunteers. Then, in a tragic turn of events, a rat made its way into the center one night and chewed into the cage that the mother and daughter bats shared. The rat attacked and subsequently devoured the mother bat, sparing the daughter.
The daughter was then transferred into a bird cage for safety, and moved to a different building. Because she now had no roostmate, the staff provided her with a stuffed StellaLuna bat doll with which she cuddled. She was used for public presentations for the next year. Then, in May of 2006 she injured and broke her leg while in the bird cage. After that, her health began to rapidly deteriorate.
In November of 2006, the daughter bat -now 16 years old- arrived to us lying in a box padded with
baby blankets. When the lid opened she looked up in fright with watery, old eyes that spoke of her past horrors. Her tiny body had a yellowish tint, indicating poor nutrition and possibly the beginning stages of liver disease. Her fur was sparse and patchy, and the foot of the previously broken leg pointed backwards in the direction it had healed. The knee in the opposite leg appeared to be swollen with arthritis, perhaps from the stress of only having one good leg with which to hang. The trip had taken its toll on her frail body, and at first we feared she might not survive.
But this tiny girl had fortitude; she fought her way back with all her might. We decided to call her Stella, both for the doll that helped her through her lonely period, and because of the popular book StellaLuna, a story about a mother and daughter fruit bat who become separated.
Unable to hang for the first few days, we placed Stella in a padded pouch that rested inside a small mesh enclosure until she was well enough to join the other bats in the flight cage (top photo). We started her on liver medication, and her coloring, along with her energy, vastly improved. Arthritis medicine helped her painful, swollen knee, and before long her eyes were clear and bright, and she could once again hang upside-down. As Stella’s health progressed, she was slowly moved into the flight cage, gradually spending more and more time until she was strong enough to remain there throughout the night. We created custom ‘Stella-sized’ hammocks in select locations in the flight cage, so she could rest her diminutive body and crippled legs during the process.
Within months, Stella was bright-eyed, inquisitive and full of life. She chose favorite toy as well, a miniature bird mirror with curly-cues around the frame.
During Stella’s final years, we tried very hard to erase her bad memories as well as the horrific sorrow she must have endured during the tragic loss of her mother. We filled her nights with happiness, good health and plentiful foods, brightly colored toys, and dozens of warm and cuddly bat friends.
This courageous little bat was with us nearly five years, having survived a bleak existence in a stark, wire cage with her mother. When she arrived, her lack of fur, dull eyes and stunted size confirmed she had endured more than any creature should have. Stella was a miniature delight who passed away peacefully in her sleep as she rested in the hammock she loved so much, amongst the comfort of her adopted family.
Rest in Peace precious Stella, your sweet soul will be forever missed.
Poopley came in as a foster dog and ended up a permanent and beloved part of Bat World Sanctuary. He came to us with a chronic intestinal problem, for which he became aptly named. During his time at the sanctuary, he witnessed our facility undergo major renovations, including enlargement of flight enclosures and the recovery room, and the coming and going of numerous visitors from around the world. Poopley was adored by hundreds of workshop attendees, and almost everyone took photos of him. He loved to dress up, his favorite costume being a bat cape and ears.
He was approximately 2 years of age when he came to Bat World, making him 18 years old when he passed away. One of his favorite spots was in the office, where he was on constant patrol for UPS and the mailman.
Poopley was cremated and is now with us in the office at all times. Good-by “Mr. Poopley-do”. Not a day goes by that you are not deeply missed.