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The Michigan 90

The past three weeks have perhaps been among the most trying we have ever encountered.

It started with the rescue of 90 fruit bats from the Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) after it suddenly closed due to allegations of sexual harassment against the former Director, who allegedly left the organization “profoundly insolvent”.  For two decades we had watched the sad conditions of the bats being “used” in countless programs across the U.S., so we jumped at the chance to offer these bats lifetime sanctuary.

Many of the bats were on loan from zoos and other institutions so those bats had to be returned to those facilities. The bats that remained, however, included 90 bats, some of which were old and infirmed and with other various issues that made them unappealing to zoos and like-minded facilities, where appearance matters. The bats we rescued included 50 short-tailed fruit bats, 10 Egyptian fruit bats, 12 African fruit bats, 15 Jamaican fruit bats, 2 Indian flying foxes and 1 Rodrigues fruit bat.

Taking on 90 additional mouths to feed is a daunting task but thanks to you—our wonderful supporters who helped us build a new, larger sanctuary—we have the room to accommodate these poor, unwanted souls. When the bats arrived we were both joyous and saddened at the same time. We were joyous to give these bats a new lease on life with all the enrichment they deserve, but sad to see how emotionally and physically neglected some of them appeared to be, and that many of the smaller bats were thin and balding.  Three of the elderly bats had nails that were so long they had to be physically cut out of the mesh crate in which they arrived.

In the midst of all of the happiness at having the bats safely with us,  we lost one of our own, David Naranjo, who was tragically killed in a car accident. David was our “shining star” and so looked forward to giving the 90 new arrivals the life they should have always had. The loss of David hit us all very hard and in the most profound way imaginable. David was born to be a part of Bat World and in that sense irreplaceable. We have a wonderfully dedicated Bat World family consisting of staff and volunteers who have pitched in to help until we can eventually get someone else trained.

David, with Peekaboo.

The “Michigan 90” are adjusting to their new lives. Some individuals are being rehabilitated, including “Coco” a critically endangered Rodrigues fruit bat who was born in 1997 and loaned to the former director of OBC, along with another of her same species. In 2012, it was determined that Coco was going blind so she and her roost mate were moved to a small cage. Her roost mate died at some point but Coco remained confined to the small cage alone because, under the instructions of the former OBC director (and with no reflection on the OBC staff or the Board), it was believed that Coco would “freak out” if she was with other bats. On the alleged instruction of the former director, her claws were purposely allowed to grow so they curled 270 degrees (3/4 of a circle) making it so she could barely move around.  Because of the severe, curled length of her toenails, Coco could not unlatch her toes from the cage ceiling to turn right-side up to relieve herself, so she unwillingly soiled herself (behavior we are working to correct).

Along with other allegations of abuse and neglect, we later learned from a former staff member that Coco was allegedly kept in a broom closet for two years before finally being transferred to a different cage.  The former staff member reported that she would leave the door of the closet open while she was there so Coco could receive fresh air:

Coco, at Bat World Sanctuary, exploring her new surroundings and making dozens of new friends.

Bats are exceptionally clean by nature but in order to maintain themselves they must be able to ambulate. We trimmed all of the bat’s toenails that were overgrown and are in the process of rehabilitating their behavior as well as their feet and nails. Three bats (including Coco) were so accustomed to not being able to move about once they were placed in a certain location, they just hung in the exact same spot for hours on end. We are now helping them to understand that they are able to move freely on their own within our expansive enclosure.  We do this by gently helping them move their feet and guiding them across the enclosure ceiling while supporting their backs with one hand (as seen in our Live Bat Cams video footage, below).

We were promised that none of the bats were pregnant, however, several of the smaller short-tailed fruit bats were indeed pregnant on arrival. These tiny future mothers were placed into an enriched flight area, segregated from the rest of the colony, to await the birth of their babies.  Two of the females gave birth to girls within days of arriving so they were allowed to rejoin their colony in the large flight area with their offspring.

Left, one of the short-tailed fruit bats from OBC’s “Save the Shorties” fundraising campaigns. Right, one of the 50 “shorties” we rescued from OBC with her newborn baby girl.

The other mothers who gave birth to boys will stay with their youngsters until the boys are old enough to neuter in approximately 3 months. They will then be allowed to rejoin their colony.  One mother abandoned her baby boy, likely due to the stress of the transfer, so we are hand-raising her baby until he is old enough to be neutered and rejoin his mom and the rest of the colony.

Most of the Michigan 90 have a lifespan of 25 years or more. In order to return to normalcy, some of these bats have months of rehabilitation ahead. Your donations help us to accomplish all that we do for these bats and more, but by taking in 90 extra bats we have essentially reached critical mass. We have the room and the staff-power to care for them, however, we need to ensure that we have the funds available for the lifetime care of these neglected and abused bats so they never have to suffer again. We can only do this with your support.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

We are trying to raise $250,000, a lofty goal and one that we expect will take some time, but also one that will ensure that these innocent bats will never suffer again. With Bat World Sanctuary, they will receive ample food, veterinary aid, and loving care from a staff dedicated to ensuring their every creature comfort.

You helped build the safe sanctuary they now call home; please help us give the once abused and neglected bats lifetime care.

An elderly African fruit bat, who had his lip torn off during a fight with another male, finds peace and freedom at Bat World Sanctuary. He is one of 12 African fruit bats rescued from OBC.

On behalf of the 90 beautiful souls who will now have lifetime peace and happiness, thank you for your support.

In Loving Memory of David Naranjo

Our Hearts Are Broken……

We lost our shining star, David Naranjo, March 29, 2018 in a tragic car accident. It is impossible to express the pain we feel over the loss of David. He truly loved the bats and Bat World Sanctuary, and he lived at the facility.  Please know that the person whose words you read on some of our recent Facebook posts are those of David, whose likes and shares surpassed our own.

Although David was only with us for 6 months, little by little, that undeniable light that he had shining from within grew with each passing day; a light that touched the soul of those who knew him.  David’s tenderness with the animals that gravitated towards him was tangible; his expressive face would beam at the opportunity to gain more knowledge about the bats, and they thrived in his care as he embraced them for all that they are.

David was 6’9” tall and we use to laugh together at how his extraordinary height made him even more perfect for the job because he could reach any bat without a ladder. David physically towered over others but most of all he soared to heights of humanity that most of us can only dream of attaining.  Many young people these days seem to only talk-the-talk, but David walked-the-walk without speaking a word. He was brilliant, yet he was humble; he was gentle, but so very strong; he was dedicated, kind and talented. In the short time we were privileged to know him, we feel that we had barely scratched the surface of the greatness he possessed.

David ~ We can still hear your laughter and feel your presence.  We miss you so much dear, sweet David.  May you always travel on the wings of the bats that you loved so much.

David and Peekaboo, an Egyptian fruit bat who loved the fact that David was tall enough to see her face to face.

2017 Loving Tributes

In Memory of Fran Buraczynski.   ~Marion Buraczynski

In Memory of Wrigley and Jake.  ~Lynn Sutherland

In Memory of my Princess.  ~Leslie Wallace

In Memory of the little bat I found in a parking garage but died before I could get it to rescue. RIP little guy.   ~Amy  Wheeler

In Memory of my grandfather.   ~Gina Carreon

In Memory of my Indy.   ~Janice Gosselin

In memory of my beloved Zelda.  ~Courtney WirtJanel

In Memory of Herkel.   ~ John Hyatt

 In Memory of Jerry.   ~Jocelyn  Joy 

In Memory of Eleanor J. MacDonald, a pioneer in her field and one of my earliest mentors.   ~Noel Lampazzi

In Memory of Maggie.   ~Claire  Todd  

In Memory of Tom Taylor in New Zealand.   ~Wendy  Gardiner  

In Memory of  Sugar and and Teddy Rocco.  ~Melissa  Rocco  

In Loving Memory of Kimb Miller.   ~Barbara  Ray  

In Memory of Shirley Case.   ~Margaret  Case  

In Memory of Holly-berry, the sweetest free-tail of them all!   ~Shari  Blissett-Clark  

In Memory of Barbara Dahm.  ~Lisa  Dahm 

In Memory of Maximus Galvin, a rat who went from neglected and scared to all-time-best snugglebutt.   ~Maggie A  Galvin 

In Memory of Poppertop.   ~Jean  Thompson  

In Loving Memory of Gladys Kenemer Siao    ~Barbara Merry Geng

In Memory of Kadji and Thor.   ~Rainsong Grant  

In Memory of Fiona.   ~Susan Dustin  

In memory of my dear, sweet Lily.   ~Rachael Polachek  

In Memory of Jim Oviedo.   ~Michelle Oviedo 

In Memory of Marcile Jordan and James Ramsey.   ~Diana  Ramsey  

Memory of KelseyGirl.   ~Patricia Rankin  

In Memory of Silver, my Sweetheart Girl.   ~Sheila Neidhardt  

In Memory of Wylie and Squeak.   ~Susan Pollich  

In Loving Memory of my father, Charles F. Sweiger.   ~Karen  Sweiger-Veil  

In Memory of Bianca.   ~Morgan Fechtel  

In Memory of Donna Fellner.   ~Diane Scott  

In Memory of Cosmo.   ~Celeste Nelson  

In Memory of doggies Mama Kira, Galen, and Loki.   ~Ellen C  Cawthorne  

In Memory of Nick Dahm.   ~Lisa Dahm  

In Memory of Katie & RJ.   ~Lisa Gates 

In Memory of dad, Rabbi Aaron Gottesman.   ~Judith Gottesman  

In Memory of Michele Gagnon-Burgess.   ~Charise Mixa 

In Memory of my wonderful dog, Quincy.   ~Mary Lou Force  

In Memory of Paul and Jan.   ~Paula Lee Dowidchuk  

In Memory of Weegems.   ~Dorothy Sherman  

In Memory of Julie Fitzpatrick.    ~Jodi Fitzpatrick 

In Loving Memory of my doggie Maizie who passed last week.   ~Laci-Ann Mosher

In Memory of Oberon, our little O-bat!    ~Teri Lanza

In Memory of my father who helped me rescue many wild animals.   ~Pamela  Keeley-Gassmann

In Memory of little Iggy.   ~  Greta Dubbeld

In Memory of Kavy Bianco.   ~ Ishel Bianco

In Memory of Charles J. Poynter.   ~ Linda Poynter

In Memory of Jack Ciliberti.   ~Molly Ciliberti

In Memory of Poppertop.  ~Jean Thompson                

In Memory of Mina, Sadie, Molly, Ebby and Patches.   ~Marilyn  Gruenloh

In Memory of Gabe Cox.   ~Genevieve  Cerf

In Memory of my brother, Jerry.   ~Karen J  Lazar

In Memory of Sunshine!    ~Susie  Mays

 

 

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Benger the Avenger

At first he did not look like a vision of Beauty but that was because he had been through so much.

Benger after he was hydrated and feeling better

Benger was found in July of 2017 as an orphan. He was almost two miles from the nearest nursery colony. He was about four weeks old and too large to have been carried by another bat in flight, so we have no idea how he got to the porch of the lady who called us. In order to get where he was found he traveled through feral cats, raccoons and skunks, fire ants, traffic and burning hot pavement. He finally ended up on a porch where he was spotted, and we were called right away.

For the first few days we honestly didn’t think Benger would survive. He was critically dehydrated, so much so that it took 5mls of fluids –more than the amount of blood contained in his tiny body- to get him up to speed.

He was also skin and bones and vomited at almost every meal, losing all the formula and precious calories his body so desperately needed. Then burns started appearing on his toes and tail membrane, likely from the scalding hot pavement he traveled across. He lost his tail to burns and eventually lost on of his thumbs and a few of his toes.

It took Benger two months to completely heal. Throughout it all, he was such a hero. Despite the pain he endured, he never lost the will to survive. He isn’t releasable because of his injuries so we will take care of him the rest of his life (15 to 20 years).

His name is a combination of Roger (don’t ask) and Benjamin Button, because he looked like a shriveled old man when he arrived. We tacked on “Avenger” because to us he is nothing short of a tiny superhero.

To celebrate his survival, Bat World volunteer Moriah Champagne made Benger a tiny cape. His cape hangs on display beside the staff lockers at Bat World Sanctuary.

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Orphaned Free-tails

During the summer months, hundreds of Brazilian free-tailed bat mothers set up nursery colonies in the attics of vacant buildings in a dilapidated part of a nearby town. Occasionally, a baby bat will become orphaned from the mother not returning to the roost for various reasons including being injured in a storm or becoming the victim of a predator such as an owl, hawk or human. Orphaned bats go in search of mom and often end up grounded on the outside of the buildings, so Bat World volunteers walk the area early every summer morning to look for pups that can be saved.

An orphaned animal is at the greatest disadvantage because it has lost his or her natural mother, and a mother’s bat’s milk is very special, just as the baby to whom it gives life. Bat World Sanctuary worked for over two years with a nutritional scientist to developed a milk formula recipe that replaces free-tailed bat mother’s milk.

Free-tailed orphans are not physically able to lap milk, their tiny faces are only designed to nurse. There is no nurser small enough to accommodate their tiny mouths, however, so we use foam tips made from eye-shadow applicators. The foam is removed from the wand and cut into a shape that the pup will accept. Warm milk formula is dispenses, a drop at a time, onto the tip as the pup nurses. Because free-tail pups enjoy nursing in this fashion so much, it allows to form “assembly lines” and feed several bat pups at once.

Free-tailed bats are highly intelligent, using over 25 vocalizations to communicate. The orphans are very smart at birth and quickly realize that they are being helped. The vocalize using soft chittering and squeaks to communicate while they snuggle and play with one another.

Aside from food, we provide the love and attention their mother’s would have showered on them.  Unlike other animals, bats do not imprint so we can and do become their substitute mothers.  We nurture them and raise them.  We give them flight training and teach them to forage and when they are ready they fly free as nature intended.  If an orphan is born with an abnormality or a medical condition that prevents them from being released, we give them lifetime sanctuary with us, where they live in a simulated cave with others of their kind. The cave sits inside a large flight enclosure which enables bats with limited flight to enjoy themselves on a nightly basis.

We are able to provide all they need  because we do not do it alone.  Our supporters give us the means to save the orphans—their formula, their toys, bedding and the very incubators that are initially used keep them alive.  We could not save these tiny, important lives without your support.

Worldwide Pest Control Entombs Bats to Slowly Die

CAUTION – DISTURBING PHOTOS BELOW

On Friday, Sept 8th, 2017 we received a call from a concerned citizen about bats allegedly being sealed into their roosts with spray foam at the Sanctuary Lofts Apartments located in San Marcos, Texas. The bats were roosting in a seven story parking garage and they were allegedly being entombed alive by Worldwide Pest Control, Inc.

worldwide pest control animal cruelty
This bat was likely leaving the roost to escape when it was sealed in by the pest control company. Otherwise, the bat’s entire body would be covered with foam.

Tenants spotted one of the bats with part of his body exposed from the foam and tried to save the bat by cutting out the section of foam where the bat was trapped.  Sadly, a significant amount of foam was attached to the lower half of the bat’s body which prevented him from being able to eliminate. The bat died the following day, likely from bowel blockage and uremic poisoning.

Tenants also reported hearing more bats crying out and scratching on foam in a desperate attempt to escape. We immediately contacted the Sanctuary Loft Apartment managers to let them know that sealing the bats in alive was essentially animal cruelty, and that the foam should be removed immediately so the surviving bats could leave. We also provided information on humane bat exclusions. The manager informed us that the work had already been completed by Worldwide Pest Control, Inc.

We also contacted the city of San Marcos as well as Texas Parks and Wildlife. Sadly, there are no laws protecting bats when they roost in public structures so nothing could be done legally to help the bats. Concerned tenants decided to open a few areas and discovered dead bats in the process. However, most of the foamed areas were too high to reach and there was a dangerous 6-story drop on the opposite side.

Worldwide Pest Control Animal Cruelty
Just a few of over a dozen areas at the Sanctuary Lofts where foam was applied into the bat’s roosting areas by Worldwide Pest Control.

Tenants reported hearing bats scratching against the orange foam in at least five different locations in that areas that again, were too high to reach. The next day the tenants noticed the orange foam removed only to be replaced with black foam.

UPDATE, 9/20/2017:
A few days after printing this article we were contacted by several news companies who ran the story.  We also received this letter from Worldwide Pest Control, along with this statement in a follow-up email. We sincerely appreciate the fact that Worldwide Pest Control took responsibility for the work of one of their technicians, whose actions should not speak for the entire company. While this can’t bring back the number of bats who perished under the hands of one person, it serves as a reminder to all pest control companies to regulate themselves on a regular basis.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are working on strengthening Texas laws in order to protect bats from this type of abuse and cruelty, however, this is a lengthy process that is likely to be met with resistance from the pest control industry.  In the meantime, companies that engage in cruel extermination methods against bats rather than using readily available humane exclusion methods can be exposed through social media as well as online reviews. Please contact us if you see bats being removed or killed in an inhumane manner. We can be reached by phone at 940-325-3404, via email at [email protected] or through our Facebook page.

 

Rescuing Bats from the Flood Waters of Hurricane Harvey

On Monday, August 28th, 2017, we received word that bats were being affected by rising flood waters created in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. We immediately reached out to offer our support to several good Samaritans who were already saving bats. However, by Monday evening it became apparent that we needed to head to Houston asap to rescue as many bats as possible.

The bats roosting under bridges were particularly affected as the wind was too strong to allow them to leave their roosts and the water rose too quickly to enable escape. Bats need a drop-off to take flight, and the drop off itself proved deadly as many bats ended up in the rising waters. Those that could take flight became sopping wet from the torrential rains. A small percentage took refuge in nearby parking garages and entrances to office buildings where they remain today, wet, without food, water or a way to escape.

After arriving hours after midnight on Tuesday, Bat World’s Bat Care Specialist Erica Quinzel began rescuing bats before dawn on Wednesday morning. By noon she had already found approximately 200 bats that needed help so she created a makeshift care center in her truck and worked from a parking garage. Thankfully, over half of the 200 bats recuperated after receiving critical fluids (injections of electrolytes) and emergency food (hydrolyzed protein) that allowed almost immediate recovery and the energy needed to take flight.

70 bats needed critical care and were kept overnight. The photo below shows some of these tiny, exhausted beings resting and recovering from their ordeal.

On a bright note, after the water receded from under the Waugh Bridge on Tuesday, chirping could be heard from within the bat roost and thousands of surviving bats were spotted flying out that evening to hunt for insects. The bats that Erica saved were released back to their original colony last night just as their surviving roost mates were emerging.

Sadly, 22 of the bats in the most critical condition did not survive the night. However, most of the remaining bats have responded well to treatment and will be released tonight with only two staying behind due to their injuries.

Word spread about our rescue efforts and we began receiving dozens of calls from the Houston area about displaced bats as well as individuals finding bats on their porches, in their yards and other places. This information was passed on to our rescue team in Houston as it came in.

A huge thank you to everyone who sent donations to help. Your thoughtfulness and compassionate support is appreciated more than you may know.

In Loving Memory of Janet Lee Kemp

All things by immortal power,
Near or far,
Hiddenly
To each other linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of star.

Francis Thompson

Please click below to make a donation in Memory of Janet Lee Kemp.

Memorial donations have been received by the following individuals:Audrey Rhodey
Patrice Rhodey
Susan Sommers
Angela Van Wyk
Alice Jena
Pamela Stevenson
Hilja Welsh

WHICH BAT IS THE VAMPIRE?

By Truth Muller, Contributing Author for Bat World Sanctuary


On June 6, 2017, NPR published a YouTube Video entitled “Should We Wipe Out Vampire Bats?” to their science channel, Skunk Bear. The video says that in Latin America, “Vampire bats are ruining livelihoods and lives. They prey on pigs, on calves, on children, and sometimes, sick bats carry rabies in their saliva.” Outbreaks of rabies are killing dozens of people and costing the region over 30 million dollars in dying livestock every year. Due to this, the ranchers of the region are petitioning their governments to exterminate the entire species. The video’s intention was to investigate the validity of this idea. However, the video does not answer questions, it raises them – and it also raises fears.

First of all, I cannot stress this point enough: Less than one tenth of 1% of all bats in the entire world ever get rabies. You’d have a better chance of getting rabies from a stray dog. So to suggest we exterminate all vampire bats because perhaps one in one thousand carry rabies is sickening. By this same logic, does that mean we should exterminate all domesticated dogs, cats, raccoons, and foxes, too, on the chance they may have rabies? All are potential carriers of the disease. There is also a serious assumption made here: that the bats are in any condition to feed once they contract rabies. Unlike a “mad dog”, a bat sick with rabies becomes not aggressive but sluggish, stops flying and dies within days of contracting the disease.

Tragically, attempting to exterminate bats is nothing new, and has been practiced in Latin America since the 1960’s. As stated in the NPR video, vampire bats are currently captured and poisoned by “spreading a toxic paste on the back of a bat, and when the bat returns to its roost the poison spreads through the whole colony”. The video also says that this is not working, and may actually increase the spread of rabies (how this can happen is not explained). According to The Secret Lives of Bats (Tuttle, Merlin. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt : NY, 2015) another common practice, not mentioned in the video, is the use of flamethrowers to exterminate bats, and the dynamiting of bat caves. Beyond ethics, the huge problem here is that the exterminators have little to no formal training in identifying a Vampire Bat. In Latin America, the colloquial word for bat translates to “vampire”. As only three of the 1,339 species of bats are actually vampires, there are hundreds of species, including insect and fruit-eating bats, who also die during these campaigns. To start an “exterminate-to-extinction” campaign in one of the most biodiverse bat habitats on Earth could spell disaster for its ecosystem, and human health. To kill any amount of insect eating bats, many of which look to the untrained eye very similar to a vampire (small and brown) would be potentially catastrophic, due to the fact that the home of the Common Vampire is also the home of the Zika Virus. The host of the video also states that “as far as we know, [Vampire Bats] don’t play any important role. The jungle would be just fine without them”. That is an extremely irresponsible statement, because “as far as we know” is not far at all. We have no idea what purpose these bats serve, but they would have gone extinct millions of years ago, or never evolved at all, if they did not serve some purpose.

So what’s the solution? The only two that the video offers are exterminating all the vampires, or a “hugely expensive vaccination program – you’d have to [vaccinate] all the people, cows, pigs, even the bats”. Another mistake: You would not need to vaccinate the bats – that would be akin to vaccinating mosquitoes for malaria, unnecessary and impractical. There is a third solution, one which virtually stopped malaria in its tracks in the same country the video was filmed: Panama. During the construction of the Panama Canal, mosquito netting was instrumental in saving lives and staving off the deadly disease. Instead of asking the government to kill things, why not petition for mosquito netting or screens on the rancher’s homes? A bat cannot bite what it cannot reach. Lastly, besides an interview with a few of the ranchers, no scientific proof is offered ANYWHERE in the video or the accompanying article, connecting vampires and these rabies outbreaks. Where is the proof? The ranchers stated only that vampires were biting their animals (and in some cases, some children who “lived over by the cows for a while”), but not that anyone or anything had died or been infected on their ranch. The video never answers its own question, “Should We Wipe Out Vampire Bats?”. Based on the erroneous statements, factual holes and lack of hard evidence throughout the video, Buddies for Bats has to say, “no”. Before we start killing off an entire species, let’s get all our facts straight, and think hard on the role these animals do play in their ecosystem, and our planet’s.

So which bat above is the vampire bat? Answer: E

Here are the other species pictured:
A: Great Fruit-eating Bat (Artibeus lituratus) B: Little Yellow-shouldered Bat (Sturnira lilium) C: Common Big-eared Bat (Micronycteris microtis) D: Stripe-headed Round-eared Bat (Tonatia saurophila) E: White-winged Vampire Bat (Diaemus youngi) F: Thomas's Nectar Bat (Hsunycteris thomasi) G: Black Flying Fox (Pteropus alecto) H: Spectacled Flying Fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) and I: Hammer-headed Fruit Bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus). 
Photo Credits:
 A and B are courtesy of RLM Novaes (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil), C-F are courtesy of A Pol (Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), G and H are courtesy of A Breed (Animal and Plant Health Agency, Addlestone, Surrey, United Kingdom) and I is courtesy of Jakob Fahr (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany). Photographers are the copyright holders of the images. 

Keeping Wild Bats Safe this Summer

Summertime is busy for everyone, including bats. Baby season for our North American bats starts in May and ends in early September, depending on the species. Here are a few tips you can use to help save the lives of the battie buddies living in your own neighborhood.

FROG LOGS SAVE BATS


If you have an outdoor pool please add a frog log and well as a critter skimmer (comes in round and square). Both of these items can save countless lives every summer, like little “Skimmer” above, a frog-sized evening bat who was found clinging to clump of leaves in a swimming pool in Colleyville, TX following a severe thunderstorm. Little Skimmer floated in the pool until he was discovered the following morning by the homeowner. He has aspiration pneumonia and is currently recovering at our rescue center Bat World MidCities. A frog log may have allowed him to find his way out of the pool and safely fly away.

BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU MOW


Some bats roost in trees which makes their lives difficult because they frequently attacked by both blue jays and crows. Mother red bats (as seen above) will attempt to protect her babies by covering them with her wings, but if that doesn’t work she will gather all of her pups up and try to fly away with them. This can sometimes be accomplished successfully with newborn babies, but when pups are older the weight is too great for mom to carry and the entire little family can end up on the ground (where they are often found by people or pets, or worse, are hit by lawn mowers). If they aren’t rescued, grounded moms will stay with her babies, sacrificing herself in the process. Please check your yard for downed bats before mowing. If you find a bat in need click here to find a rescuer in your area.

CEILING FAN BLADES BREAK TINY ARM BONES

Please give them a break, by NOT giving them a break! Turn any outdoor ceiling fans OFF at night to avoid tragic accidents with bats that may fly under your porch looking for a tasty insect treat. You’ll save a little on your electric bill while also saving little lives.

SAVE BATS IN PALMS


Did you know that at least 12 of our 47 US bat species use those dried palm frond “skirts” as natural bat houses? Don’t trim dried fronds in spring or summer to protect baby bats and birds, and try to leave some dried fronds year round so bats have a safe place to raise their pups in summer or to hibernate in winter. In addition, cosmetic trimming of the fronds can make palm trees more susceptible to heat stress and drought, so leaving some fronds helps both the trees AND bats!

PLEASE DON’T DESTROY NURSERIES


It’s baby season for bats in the US, so please don’t destroy bat nurseries! THERE IS NO HUMANE WAY TO EXCLUDE A BAT COLONY DURING BABY SEASON. Most bats give birth to just one pup starting in late spring and summer, and if you seal out a bat colony now, or trim down their palm frond home, baby bats will be left behind to die. If you have an unwanted bat colony in your attic, ensure there’s no way they can get into the home’s interior but wait until the end of summer before having the colony excluded. Once this pup’s little, stubby wings grow out and she learns to hunt, she will be able to eat more than 1000 mosquito-sized insects in an hour! Please give her a chance to grow up.

INSTALL PUP CATCHERS

We are already receiving reports of baby bats falling from bat houses and other areas where new moms have formed nursery colonies. This sometimes occurs when pregnant moms move into a roost, not understanding that the population will double when their babies are born. The pups grow quickly and it doesn’t take long before the roost becomes over crowded and overheated. Installing a pup catcher is very simple to construct and costs very little. It’s a simple net that catches fallen pups and allows them to climb back inside. Pup catchers can even be made to fit inside barns, under the eves of houses and other areas where babies may be falling. If you have a bat house with bats, or have noticed pups falling from another type of roost. please don’t hesitate to install one right away. Click here for free instructions.

More lives can be saved by sharing the information on this page, so please share!

Special thanks to Cindy Myers for the use of her graphics and text, to Jacqueline Sutherland for saving Skimmer and sending us his photo, and to Taylor Flatbush for saving the red bat mom and her babies, and sending us her photo as well.

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