- Providing permanent sanctuary for non-releasable bats.
- The protection and conservation of wild bat colonies.
- Promoting the humane treatment of bats in captivity.
- Educating the public about the importance of bats.
- Training animal care professionals on the proper treatment of bats
We believe that great animal rescue organizations are judged not just by the scale of the work that they do, but by the impact that work has on the lives of the animals they serve. We actively work with zoos, researchers and animal shelters to offer an alternative to death. Many of the bats in our care have lived terrible lives before coming to us and we provide the security and privacy they need to recuperate from their previous existence. We firmly believe that all living beings exist for their own reasons and have a right to a peaceful and happy life, just as humans do.
Bat World is the legacy of a small bat, found injured on a hot Texas sidewalk in the summer of 1988 by Amanda Lollar. Thinking bats were vermin at the time, but not wanting the tiny animal to suffer, she scooted the bat onto a newspaper with the toe of her shoe. The bat was carried back to the furniture Amanda and her Mother owned and placed into a box with a small dish of water. Amanda found information at the local library about the benefits of bats, so she took the tiny creature home in hopes of healing its wing and setting it free. Unfortunately, the injuries were permanent, so “Sunshine” stayed on. During her short lifetime in captivity, Sunshine taught Amanda the enchanting language of bats and sparked her indelible love for this remarkable species. In 1991, Amanda chronicled Sunshine’s poignant story in her book, The Bat in My Pocket, A Memorable Friendship. In 1994, Amanda founded Bat World Sanctuary, the organization’s first sanctuary for non-releasable bats. Hundreds of bats from around the world have found permanent refuge at this indoor, natural habitat facility. These non-releasable bats include those that have been used in research, retired from zoos, orphaned, permanently injured or confiscated from the exotic pet trade. Bat World is located just outside of Cool, Texas and serves as headquarters for the organization. Bat World Sanctuary has been involved in numerous conservation and rescue efforts over the last three decades, including presenting seminars to wildlife rehabilitation associations as well as collaborating with the Lubee Bat Conservancy, Bat Conservation International, North American Universities, the US Center of Disease Control, Texas Parks and Wildlife and various state agencies throughout the US. The list below includes a sample of our work.
- 1992: Purchased a building that 30,000 free-tailed bats used as a roosting site in order to save the colony from being destroyed.
- 1994: Authored and published the first manual on the captive care and rehabilitation of Brazilian free-tailed bats.
- 1995: Created the first nutritionally sound diet for convalescing insectivorous bats; created a bat house project with local businesses in the city of Mineral Wells, Texas.
- 1996: Conducted the first successful behavioral study for the Brazilian free-tailed bat.
- 1997: Created a webpage for bat care professionals to access updated medical treatments and medications for insectivorous bats, free of charge.
- 1998: Paper published in the Southwestern Naturalist; began creating rescue centers across the U.S.; created guidelines for using live bats in educational programs.
- 1999: Co-authored and published the first medical reference for the rehabilitation of insectivorous bats; developed a tattoo system to identify hand-raised orphans after they have been released back to the wild.
- 2000: Established a wild bat preserve with bat houses in Lake Whitney, Texas.
- 2000-2010: Began conducting week-long workshops on the rehabilitation of insectivorous bats with over 400 attendees coming from around the world.
- 2001: Proved that hand-raised orphaned insectivorous bats can be released back to the wild and survive.
- 2002: Convinced the city of Mineral Wells, Texas to avoid fogging in areas where bat roosts are known to exist in the town, significantly reducing the number of bats downed by poisoning.
- 2003: Produced a Bat Talk DVD on the language of Brazilian free-tailed bats, demonstrating over 25 vocalizations these bats use to communicate.
- 2004: Received the Doris Day Kindred Spirit Award.
- 2005: Co-authored the North American Bat Act, a proposed bill.
- 2006: Commissioned independent laboratory analysis of commercial milk replacement formulas after an unprecedented 85% loss of orphaned bat pups raised on said formulas. After heavy metals and extreme calcium deficiencies were discovered in the formulas, worked with a PhD Nutritional Scientist to create a milk formula using human grade products. This milk formula is available free of charge on batworld.org for wildlife rehabilitators.
- 2007: Co-developed the USFWS Protocol for Wildlife Rehabilitators in response to White Nose Syndrome.
- 2008: Created “pup catchers” to save baby bats from falling from bats houses; Animal Planet Hero of the Year Award finalist.
- 2009: Indianapolis Prize Finalist.
- 2010: Conducted two-week internships on the captive care of insectivorous bats for the USFWS and the Smithsonian.
- 2011: Wrote and published the book “Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats”, authored the first standards for bats in captivity, paper published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, began teaching one-day workshops for animal care professionals, earned accreditation with the American Sanctuary Association and verification with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
- 2012: Secured a 6.1 Million Dollar judgment against a notorious cyber-stalker who tried to destroy Bat World Sanctuary; co-authored and published “The Essential Bat” & a children’s book “Baby See-Thru.”
- 2013: Secured 13 acres of land and built a bat castle which serves as protected habitat for up to 100,000 free-ranging wild bats.
- 2014: Began workshops for Animal Control officers to save thousands of bats from being unnecessarily euthanized annually; Built a 7,200 foot facility that serves as a “forever place for bats in need”; Indianapolis Prize Finalist.
- 2015: Recovered an orphaned free-tailed bat that has been released 13 years prior, proving without a shadow of a doubt that this species can be released back to the wild after being hand-raised as orphans.
- 2016: Began working with the city on Palestine, Texas to develop a bat house project to provide alternate habitat for the bats roosting in the town’s older buildings, elected as Chair for the White Nose Syndeome Stakeholder Committee; earned accreditation with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries; received the Carol Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence.