A USDA FOIA request of Lisa’s Creatures shows inadequate veterinary care, housing, excess handling resulting in the death and numerous other citations/violations. Click here for the full report

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.

Echo was purchased as a baby by Lisa’s Creatures, an backyard exotic animal collector who is also with East Valley Wildlife. Echo was forcefully 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.

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.


Please also send a hard copy a letter to:

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


Van Gogh

In the year 2000, Van Gogh, a Mexican free-tail bat, was experiencing independence in his first summer of life. From what we can deduce, he became caught in a pre-dawn thunderstorm while out foraging for insects and was unable to make it back to his roost. Instead, he had apparently taken refuge under the edge of a sign attached to the side of a convenience store. Both the hard rain and the rising sun made it impossible for Van Gogh to safely fly back to his home roost.

Sometime during the mid-morning hours, three teenage boys noticed the little bat clinging to the brick wall and crouched tightly against the sign. Fear kept Van Gogh in place, making him an easy target for their heinous crime. Without forethought or concern for this delicate, little creature that had spent all night eating insects that destroy crops and carry deadly disease, they took a lighter from their pocket and reached as high as they could to come into contact with Van Gogh. They held the flame close enough to burn his fur and sear his ear and neck. Luckily, the shopkeeper saw them from the corner of his eye. Not immediately knowing what the boys were doing, only that they were doing something to the store sign, he rushed outside to confront them. Upon seeing the shopkeeper the boys fled, dropping the lighter in the process.  As the shopkeeper approached the sign he heard small painful cries coming  from  Van Gogh,  who  was still weakly clinging  to  the bricks. The shopkeeper’s child had participated in a field trip to Bat World last year, so he was aware of our existence and immediately phoned us.

Thankfully, Van Gogh’s injuries weren’t life threatening. However, the fur on his head and neck was singed and the skin was badly burned. The membrane on one wing had blistered and one of his fragile ears had disintegrated under the flame.  Hence, he was affectionately given the name of Van Gogh.

We admit several burn cases annually; some from power lines, some from chimneys and some from acts of cruelty, such as Van Gogh’s. Sadly, most of these bats are injured beyond repair and must be humanely euthanized.  Van Gogh was very lucky. His desire to stay alive, his sweet disposition and the fact that he was only a few weeks old helped him adjust and heal quickly. However, his missing ear prevents him from echolocating properly and foraging for insects in the wild, so he is not releasable. Van Gogh appears extremely happy in captivity. He has grown a bit old and crotchety over the years, but is still lives a pampered life in protective surroundings, with a non-releasable captive colony of his own kind. He was retired from the Adopt-a-bat program in 2012.


Bats and Wind Energy – Your Voice Needed

Photo © Treehugger.com

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting information and ideas from the public on a proposal to develop a Habitat Conservation Plan for wind energy facilities in the Midwest.

Bats that will be affected include endangered species, such as the Indiana bat.

An automated letter is included below. If you’d rather not use the letter provided below, please submit your comments to:

Regional Director, Attn: Rick Amido
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services
5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990
Bloomington, MN 55437-1458
Fax: 612/713-5292 (Attn: Rick Amidon)
Email: midwestwindhcp@fws.gov

The deadline for receiving comments is December 3, 2012.



Bats and Wind Energy

Dear Regional Director, Rick Amido:

I feel very strongly that a strategy to minimize harm to bats should be mandatory, such as changing cut-in speed to reduce bat fatalities, and avoiding the construction of wind turbines on ridges or other migration corridors, and building them less than 60m tall.

I’m certain you are aware of the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (www.batsandwind.org). Several scholarly publications regarding curtailment options have been published there, including one which compared the operational cost of raising the minimum wind speed operation for turbine rotation and electricity generation. An article by Dr. Edward Arnett displayed that this curtailment option significantly reduced nightly bat mortality by as much as 90% but had a marginal cost to the utility of only 1% of their annual income. Another study found that ultrasonic deterrents similarly reduced mortality, though not to as great a degree as raising the minimum operational wind speed. I would like to see multiple mitigation methods used in areas where sensitive species might be harmed by wind turbines.

Careful planning of wind energy development is necessary to ensure its sustainability. For this reason I would like to see acoustic, visual and capture-release surveys at proposed wind farm locations whenever possible so that the need for mitigation actions in the future can be reduced. The FWS should create a standardized post-construction survey and reporting protocol for bat and bird fatalities at wind farms which includes daily searches for carcasses and searcher efficiency tests during peak activity and migration windows in areas with sensitive populations.

As a consumer of electrical energy, I would be willing to pay a marginally more expensive utility bill each month for such a reduction in needless death. One of the reasons why sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy are so popular with the public is that they are substantially less detrimental on our environment than carbon-emitting energy sources. While I feel that curtailment at low wind speeds and deterrents should be necessary at all wind farms, I particularly feel they should be enforced where endangered, threatened or migrating species occur.


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Queensland-dontshootbatsThe Queensland, Australia government-sanctioned killing of two threatened species – Spectacled and Grey-headed flying-foxes, has enraged bat conservationists across the globe. The government banned the shooting of flying-foxes in 2008 after the Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee found it was inhumane.  However, fruit growers are now being permitted to shoot flying-foxes, despite its acknowledged cruelty.  To add insult to injury, Minister John McVeigh said “It’s important every Queenslander understands animal cruelty is never acceptable”.  Ironic since Minister McVeigh has not responded to bat conservationist’s emails and has not made one single move to stop this uncivilized, cruel kill, condoned by Campbell Newman, Premier of Queensland.

Four flying-fox species are being needlessly killed: Grey-headed (endangered), Spectacled (endangered), Black and Little red flying-foxes. Fruit growers can protect their crops far more effectively with nets, costing as little as $8,000 per hectare (or every 2.471 acres) and the government has a program in place to assist them with the expense, the Sustainability Loans Program.

The barbaric killing of these innocent animals is unacceptable. Bats are being used for target practice as they fly through the orchards.  The partially massacred bodies of these majestic creatures are retrieved and thrown into plastic bags while they are still breathing so that they may slowly suffocate.  In other situations, bat workers have found that the injured were not retrieved and were left to die over a 3-4 day period, victims of predators, insects, dehydration and blood loss.  This is the fate of the adults and the mothers who have newborn nursing young on them.  Still others, such as pups developed enough to remain in the camp but too young to fly, are left to die of dehydration and starvation while they innocently await the return of their mothers who have suffered an even worse fate.

We have contacted individual Ministers of the government to voice our concern and they are now responding with ‘lip service’ emails.  This means we must ramp up our efforts.  Stopping is not an option while innocent animals are being mutilated.  Please join our 30-day email campaign wherein we will email numerous Queensland government officials with our protests. We will boycott travel to Australia, as well as the purchase of any Australian product until they stop these barbaric killings.

It is incumbent upon bat conservationists and the environmentally concerned to have a voice that can be heard around the world.  Please join us to make this happen.  We want to make this easy on you in order for you to commit to the 30-day campaign without interruption.  It will only take a couple of minutes of your time each day; just a minute or two, to save these pure, blameless animals.  They have no one else but us and remember, alone we are but one voice, together we ROAR.


<Christine.McDermott@daff.qld.gov.au> <Premier@ministerial.qld.gov.au>; <thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au>; <ashgrove@parliament.qld.gov.au>; <karen.cowell@premiers.qld.gov.au>; <daff@ministerial.qld.gov.au>; <govnet@qld.gov.au>; <Paul.Martyn@dtesb.qld.gov.au>;<legislation.queries@oqpc.qld.gov.au>; <Craig-Evans@qld.gov.au>; <Jack.Noye@daff.qld.gov.au>; <Kelvin.anderson@dcs.qld.gov.au>; <Danielle.Anderson@ehp.qld.gov.au>; <Tony.Roberts@ehp.qld.gov.au>; <Andrew.Chesterman@ehp.qld.gov.au>; <Dean.Ellwood@ehp.qld.gov.au>; <Tamara.OShea@ehp.qld.gov.au>; <toowoomba.South@parliament.qld.gov.au>; <environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au>; <Christine.Williams@derm.qld.gov.au>; <Glass.House@parliament.qld.gov.au>; <Dan.Hunt@deedi.qld.gov.au>;  <Michael.Birchley@derm.qld.gov.au>; <John.Glaister@nprsr.qld.gov.au>; <Tourism@ministerial.qld.gov.au>; <Terry.Wall@derm.qld.gov.au>; <Currumbin@parliament.qld.gov.au>; <steve.mcroberts@tq.com.au>; <South.Brisbane@parliament.qld.gov.au>; <growcom@growcom.com.au>; <qfarmers@qff.org.au>; <Jon.Grayson@premiers.qld.gov.au>;<Chris.Robson@derm.qld.gov.au>; <Barry.Broe@coordinatorgeneral.qld.gov.au>; <Richard.Eden@dtesb.qld.gov.au>

Please note that the following emails may now be nonfunctional. If you have updated addresses for the following please sent the information to sanctuary@batworld.org: ashgrove@parliament.qld.gov.au, toowoomba.south@parliament.qld.gov.au, glass.house@parliament.qld.gov.au, currumbin@parliament.qld.gov.au
inala@parliament.qld.gov.au, mackay@parliament.qld.gov.au,
south.brisbane@parliament.qld.gov.au;  Inala@parliament.qld.gov.au;    Mackay@parliament.qld.gov.au; Helen.Gluer@treasury.qld.gov.au;

Dear Queensland Official,

The latest ‘form letter’ response from Troy Collings, Chief of Staff, equals the Queensland government’s barbaric killing of flying foxes in absurdity. This is not a deliberate attempt to be offensive, but the response is insulting and offers nothing but empty comments about a devastating situation. One can understand how any failed conservation action is referred to as the “Australian Effect” and how the term originated.Mr. Collings states, “The Queensland Government recognises your concerns and believes it is taking the necessary action to minimise the damage to fruit crops caused by flying-foxes without compromising the welfare or long-term conservation of these animals”. You are killing endangered species!! If that is not compromising the welfare of the animal, what is?Queensland cannot possibly control the number of animals shot given the land mass over which the shootings take place nor can you prevent the ‘target practice’ shoots of flying foxes, leaving them to die an agonizing death over a 3-4 day period. Your barbaric plan cannot prevent the culling of lactating females who leave innocent, young, viable animals to starve to death nor does it accommodate the human response wherein farmer’s who overkill simply bury the evidence.This culling involves endangered species and yet you are trying to tell the world what you are doing is in the best interest of the farmers? This action does not mix well with the goals of Queensland’s 2012-2016n Strategic Plan to “ …maximize sustainable tourism growth for the social and environmental benefit of all Queenslanders.” On the contrary, dozens of people who planned tp visit Queensland have now decided against visiting there because of the barbaric culling of threatened bats currently taking place.

You have a feasible option for the farmers as well as the animals – netting. If you truly want to co-exist with the flying foxes instead of rendering them extinct, then your country would be better served financially if you did the same thing as the City of Austin, TX. They were going to eliminate the bats from the downtown area (viewed as a nuisance) because of the guano (and perceived health risk) until they were educated about the economic and environmental impacts of such a decision. Now Austin realizes $10-$15 million dollars a year in tourism due to the population of bats in that city (in excess of 2 million). It is called the Austin Bat Tour and people come from as far away as Europe (and yes, even Australia) to witness the nightly emergence during the summer months. They have learned to embrace the bats rather than victimize them. Your country would be better served financially if you did the same thing. Set up flying fox tours so people can be situated between a camp and a foraging ground to view the bats (in Austin they put bat channeling under the bridge to provide a roosting place for over 1.5 million bats), plant sacrificial crops for them to eat near their camps, advertise for donations for the appropriate crop protective nets used in orchards, via Facebook, animal welfare groups and apply for emergency animal welfare grants. You have organizations on the ground in Australia ready and willing to work with you.

Queensland is playing with the ecological balance of our planet at a time when we have reached the limits of our options. The response from Mr. Collings was disturbing and despicable, and has made conservationists even more determined to fight your actions and let the world know that Australia murders its native species when there are benign solutions available. Consequently, I will be spreading the word to tourism groups, humane societies, and environmentally conscious people around the world to boycott travel to Australia as well as the boycott of Australian products until Queensland stops the needless killing bats.Your Signature.

Please use the web forms on these links to also copy and paste your letters:


Please also:

Visit the DON’T SHOOT BATS website


Source: Don't Shoot Bats

Threatened Species Day in Queensland, Australia was marked this year by the re-introduction of government-sanctioned killing of two threatened species – Spectacled and Grey-headed flying-foxes. The Qld Government banned shooting of flying-foxes in 2008 after the government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee found it was inhumane.

On Friday, a regulation exempting flying-foxes from humaneness requirements under the Nature Conservation Act comes into effect. So fruit growers will once again be permitted to shoot flying-foxes, despite its acknowledged cruelty. This decision stands in contrast to the removal of exemptions for dugong and turtle hunting under animal welfare laws less than 3 months ago. At that time Minister John McVeigh said “it’s important every Queenslander understands animal cruelty is never acceptable”.[1]

Under the new regulation, up to 10,500 flying-foxes can be shot each year. More are likely to be shot illegally and thousands of dependent young will also die. Shooting flying-foxes was banned because there is a high rate of wounding, and young flying-foxes die of thirst or starvation when their mother is shot in an orchard.

Four flying-fox species will be affected: Grey-headed, Spectacled, Black and Little red flying-foxes. Fruit growers can protect their crops far more effectively with nets, costing as little as $8,000 per hectare.

Please send a letter to Queensland’s Government. Tell them the world is watching, and encourage them to reverse this barbaric decision. Let them know that you will boycott traveling to Australia as well as products that come from Australia, and that you plan to let all of your animal-loving friends to do likewise. Feel free to copy and paste the sample letter below into your emails.All governments have made mistakes as it pertains to the environment. A major city in North Texas area in the U.S. was going to eliminate the bats from the downtown area until they were educated about the economic and environmental impacts of such a decision. Austin, TX (USA) sees $10-$15 million dollars a year in tourism due to the population of bats in that city. They have learned to embrace them rather than victimize them. Your country would be better served financially if you did the same thing. Set up flying fox tours so people can be situated between a camp and a hunting ground to view the bats, plant sacrificial crops for them to eat near their camps, advertise for donations for the appropriate crop protective nets used in orchards, etc. You have organizations on the ground in Australia ready and willing to work with you.
The decision to kill bats has been reversed once, lets make it happen again.



Andrew Powell: glass.house@parliament.qld.gov.au
Campbell Newman: thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au
Campbell Newman, Ashgrove: ashgrove@parliament.qld.gov.au


Dear Queensland Government,

I write to you in hopes that you will have the good conscience to reverse the decision to allow the killing of flying foxes in Australia. The mere thought Australian government is permitting endangered species to be massacred is unconscionable. We all share this planet and in a time when we are experiencing the loss of so many species that are critical to the health of our planet, and we are faced with variations in climate that will add to the destruction of more species, why on earth would you contribute to the decimation of an essential species that are a prime tourist attraction for Australia?
If you allow the shooting of 10,500 per year, it can easily be estimated ten-fold of that number will be shot because they will lay dead and dying in areas not generally accessible so it will be impossible to keep track of the numbers. Additionally, you will not have the trained staff to monitor all of the shoots.

Whenever there is an environmental ‘mistake’ made, are you aware there is what has come to be known as the ‘Australia Effect’? It is part of environmental planning to make certain no one duplicates the errors made in Australia when coping with ecological issues. Your latest decision, concerning the flying foxes, will eventually be one more instance in the Australia Effect.

Flying foxes may appear to some less educated individuals as pests, but to the rest of the world you are shooting a flying mammal with an intellect comparable to that of a dolphin. You will be vilified by concerned individuals, environmental and animal welfare groups and Australia will suffer a severe blow to its economic health because thousands of people will post and share the horror that is transpiring in Australia and each individual who is contacted will contact 10 more people. Exponentially the news will reach millions who will find your decision to be abhorrent. Australia will suffer a boycott. I implore you to reconsider your actions. Give the world a reason to embrace Australia rather than scorn it.




One day you are flying free, chasing bugs as nature intended and then, suddenly, you are caught in a mist net and transported to a place unknown to you. You are held down and viewed under microscopes and bright lights. Life, as you have always known it, will never be the same. Then one day you injure a finger, and the very injury that should have cost you your life has now saved you.

Beene, a pallid bat
Beene’ in a fleece-lined roost. Click to enlarge.

Meet Beene’ (pronounced Ben-nay), a pallid bat with a very lucky injury. Beene’ was captured with a group of her kind to be part of a research study at Texas A&M University.  It has long been the practice of most institutions involved in animal research to destroy the subjects at the conclusion of the study (or if they sustain an injury during the study). Sadly, research animals are rarely returned to their rightful place in the wild.

However, a dedicated young TX biologist involved in the study thought it wrong that such a beautiful creature, who did nothing but exist as Mother Nature intended, should have this fate befall her. She contacted Bat World Sanctuary to see if there was a place for Beene’. Of course the answer was a resounding “Yes”.

In her heart, Beene’ is a wild bat and because of this she remains shy and timid around humans. Although she had a difficult time settling in at the beginning of her new life at Bat World Sanctuary, she now “hangs out” in padded roosting pouches with other non-releasable pallid bats and big browns (Beene’ is pictured in the center). She also interacts with the ever endearing Mexican free-tail bats. Beene’ does not have to be hand-fed, and except for periodic health checks, she is undisturbed because that is the way she likes it. Beene’ is one of the lucky ones in more ways than one. Not only was she spared from being euthanized, she was spared from participating in the study. Given her shy nature, being a research animal would have been extremely stressful for her. Instead, she now enjoys an unfettered life in simulated cave that opens into a flight area; her nightly flights limited only by her handicapped finger. We will continue to care for Beene’ until the end of her natural life. It is not the best thing, for that would be the wild, but it is a good runner up.


sponsor poppy

She came to us as “Sundar “but her name is now “Poppy”.

In March of 2012, Poppy arrived for a new beginning, so she deserved a new name. She is an Indian Flying Fox (Pteropus giganteus), the second largest species of bat in the world and one of the most spectacular animals on earth. However, despite her magnificence or perhaps because of it, it appeared that for each of Poppy’s 10 years of life before reaching us, she was placed on exhibit and was expected to perform. According to her paperwork, Poppy was trained to do tricks for the public, such as lifting her foot and holding out her wing.  It also appeared that Poppy was an unwilling participant. She showed her dislike for the unnatural behavior that was asked of her by biting.

Before she was retired to Bat World Sanctuary we were warned, “She likes to bite.” We have heard those words before, and to a bat specialist it sends warning bells that perhaps the bat is not comfortable in their environment. Poppy was born in a zoo, and although many zoos try and do provide decent care for their bats, for any nocturnal animal, it is a difficult life at best.  Zoo hours dictate that bats be displayed during their natural rest time. Additionally, Poppy had been put through a painful and invasive surgery to spay her even though she was purportedly only housed with neutered males.

poppys transport cage
Poppy, arriving in her shipping crate.

Poppy’s journey to find permanent sanctuary at Bat World was a long voyage across country borders. She was in transit for approximately 16 hours total. Her trip included a delay at Houston Airport (bypassing our nearby Dallas airport) in order for U.S. Customs to clear her, even though all the necessary paperwork was in order and an agent was secured to expedite her trip. Kate Rugroden, our Director of Special Projects, generously took a vacation day to drive the 5.5 hours to Houston and then 6.5 hours to Bat World Sanctuary to deliver Poppy.

Poppy was shipped in a metal cage that was placed inside a locked wooden box. There were small air holes drilled into the side of the box, but Poppy was unable to see anything outside her sealed container. The box was only two inches taller than she was, so any turbulence would likely cause her to bump her head against the hard metal wire of the cage floor.

Upon arrival, Poppy was understandably very frightened, but  she  was  given  time  to  ‘self release’ from her metal cage by holding it against the ceiling in the fruit bat enclosure, which enabled her to exit on her own.  Once she emerged, the other bats appeared to stare in wonderment at the spectacle of her sheer size.

Poppy, a giant among friends, enjoys a bit of melon while hanging beside Peekaboo, an Egyptian fruit bat. A straw-colored fruit bat can be seen to the left, and even smaller Jamaican fruit bats can be seen in the background.

Poppy's happy home
Poppy, enjoying her new surroundings at Bat World Sanctuary

For the first 24 hours she inspected and wandered around our expansive 55’ enclosure, examining toys, sampling sweet potato kabobs and allowing the smaller bats to nuzzle her fur. The following morning we found her nestled in amongst the straw-colored fruit bats and Egyptian fruit bats. She remained very shy for the first few weeks, but her trust appears to be growing. She now comes up for “treat time” with the other bats. Treat time involves small cubes of melon being given out by hand.

It’s obvious that she wants to participate but is too apprehensive to simply “join the crowd.” Instead, she slowly creeps up to the spot where the others are receiving their hand-fed treats and hangs about a foot behind the other bats. Because she is still apprehensive, we have to slowly reach out and offer her a treat while looking in the opposite direction and talking softly. Only then will she timidly take her treat from our extended fingertips.ppy, enjoying her new surroundings which include a toy box full of small vinyl toys, silk foliage and flowers, and other suspended toys that provide enrichment.

We wish to thank the zoo who responsively retired Poppy to our sanctuary. In time Poppy will realize that at Bat World, nothing will ever be expected of her. She will never have to endure crowds of loud people or perform for them, and she will never be disturbed when she should be sleeping. The only thing Poppy will ever need to do again is simply be herself.




The Sunday 16

We rescue starving orphaned free-tailed bats from our wild sanctuary every summer. Normally we find and save one to two per day, but one Sunday in July of 2012, we rescued 16. The videos below tell the story of The Sunday Sixteen.



In May of 2012, an orphaned Jamaican fruit bat was brought to us attached to her dead mother, who was purchased as a pet a couple of months ago. The person who bought her didn’t know she was pregnant. The mom likely couldn’t pass the placenta, which can be fatal. The baby is fine now, thanks to the gal who owned them and realized she could not care for a newborn fruit bat.After joining our facebook page she realized that it was wrong to keep bats as pets, and she wants us to share that in this post, and we commend her for that.

We are calling the baby Tinkerbell, after her mom. At first Tinkerbell was very cold, dehydrated and reluctant to eat, but was doing much better within a couple of days. Within three months she was full grown and doing well, and now eats fruit and lives in a large flight enclosure with the at residents at Bat World Sanctuary. Click photos to enlarge.



This would have been an account of yet one more bat whose fate was sealed, due to an unfortunate encounter with “Tanglefoot Bird Repellant,” had it not been for kind-hearted Jennifer Michaelis, who was leaving a store in Weatherford, Texas, in August and noticed two children pouring water over something small and alive on the ground. She took the time to inspect their activities and saw the tormented creature was a struggling bat covered in a thick, sticky substance that resembled molasses. The bat was completely incapacitated. She cautioned the children to stop what they were doing and immediately went inside a “Big Lots” store to retrieve a box in which to put the bat. It was then she found out that the manager of Big Lots had placed bird repellant along the top edge of the building to keep the pigeons from roosting on the building.

Glue traps and sticky repellants of any kind do great harm to wildlife. Tanglefoot in particular is an insidious product which causes great suffering, incapacitating wildlife, and necessitates immediate first aid intervention. Animals get the Tanglefoot onto their beaks and in their mouths, causing them to suffocate, dehydrate, or slowly starve to death. The company who makes the product claims: “Tanglefoot Bird Repellent is a nondrying, non-toxic compound or paste that adheres to all types of surfaces while remaining sticky.”

The bat that Jennifer Michaelis rushed to place in our care had glue over her eyes, her limbs; every inch of her delicate body was drenched in the gooey substance and to make it worse, since she had contact with the ground, dirt and debris became part of the goop that was covering her.

Repeated applications of vegetable oil were applied to remove the adhesive, followed by bathing with Dawn liquid detergent. In all, over the course of two days, the bat was oiled and bathed eleven times. Additionally some of the goo remained on her neck and muzzle creases which required seven more baths to those areas.

We asked Jennifer if she wished to name the bat she saved, and she chose to name her Sarah, after her daughter, who is a bat enthusiast. Thank you, Jennifer, for saving Sarah and driving 45 minutes each way to bring her to us for medical treatment.

Note: You can help prevent bats and birds from untimely deaths from glue traps and adhesive bird repellants. Please write to Big Lots and encourage them to stop using these products, and please encourage them not to sell any type of glue traps for mammals.

Steve Fishman, President
Big Lots Corporate Headquarters
300 Phillipi Road
Columbus, OH 43228Please also write to the makers of Tanglefoot and let them know their product is cruel and causes great suffering and death to wildlife:The Tanglefoot Company
314 Straight Avenue, S.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504-6485
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