On September the 9th, 2017 we received a call from a man named Cody LeDuc who lived in Florida and in the direct path of Hurricane Irma. He said he had two bat houses full of bats and he was very worried because there was no way the bat houses would survive the storm. Cody stated that he had been searching for help for his bats all day and we were the only “bat people” who answered the phone. Our first concern was being able to remove the bat houses but Cody assured us that was no problem – he would do anything to save them. We asked him if he was leaving the area before the storm and he said no, he was staying put because his house was hurricane safe. So we asked him if he could bring the bats inside and he said yes, he had both a barn (also hurricane safe) and an empty room available in his home if needed. We instructed him to place a net over the bottom of the bat houses while the bats were inside during the day, then remove the houses and take them to either the barn or a room he could close off from the rest of the house. We also suggested that if he uses his home to secure them for the storm, to make the room cold to induce torpor in the bats (semi hibernation) until the storm passed, which could take two to three days. So, the plan was to remove the bat houses while the bats were inside, place the bat houses into a net enclosure inside his barn or a room in Cody’s home, remove the screen from the bottom of the houses, and provide water in shallow dishes just in case the bats wake up, explore and become thirsty. Cody called me back later and said the plan was in action and the bats were safe inside.
Cody saved hundreds of important little lives with his effort. Before we hung up we thanked him for caring so much about the bats. He replied with “No problem, we are saving everything, even the tadpoles.”
The following day a lady named Alice from Georgia called us very concerned for the bats in her bat houses. She said she had been searching the internet on how to save their bats from Hurricane Irma, which is supposed to hit her area as well. Alice had three bat houses. She saw our post what Cody had done for his bats and she wanted to do the same thing. We gave her some guidance and she followed suit, saving the estimated 75 bats roosting in her bat houses. The following day we received a call from another wonderful bat person named Ashley who lives close to Orlando, FL. She had a bat house with about 400 bats inside. She had been advised that the bats would all leave before the storm and not to worry, however, the bats did not leave and the bat house and all 400 bats came crashing down around 10 pm after the storm hit. Ashley and her husband ran outside and retrieved the house and placed it in their garage. Thankfully many bats flew out of the bat house and took shelter in various places inside their garage, however, the impact killed quite a few bats and two were injured. After the weather calmed down Ashley left the garage door open so all the bats could fly out. We provided guidance on how to provide temporary care for the two injured bats and then located a rescuer in her area so the bats could receive the care they need. On our last communication with Ashley, the bats were eating and drinking and slowly recovering.
Imagine what this world would be like if it were full of people like Cody, Alice and Ashley. ♥