Roadie was first spotted a at our wild sanctuary in July of 2005, high on the rafters, during baby season. He appeared to be about one week old. One tiny wing was severely damaged, perhaps during birth. It had broken and then healed into a crooked position leaving his delicate fingers frozen in place like a fan that splayed from one side of his body. He would never be able to fly and once he was weaned he would not survive. Worse, he was forced to drag his splayed fingers beside him rather than tuck them into a normal position under his body. They could easily become caught between the rocks as he crawled around. His only chance of survival was captivity. We tried desperately to get hold of him but he was just out of our grasp. For three weeks we searched for him but he had apparently disappeared into the recesses of the large stone walls of the wild sanctuary. Then we spotted him once more. He was almost full grown. Again, he ducked out of our reach and our attempts to rescue him failed. His time was running out. Soon his mother would wean him. Without being able to fly and catch insects he would slowly starve. Two more weeks passed and we had no choice but to give him up for dead.
About a week later a knock came at the back door of Bat World. A merchant had found a bat in the parking lot of their building; crawling slowly across the hot Texas pavement. As we looked into the paper cup containing the small bat we were amazed to see the unmistakable fanned wing of the little bat we had tried so anxiously to rescue from the rafters. He had been found two blocks from the wild sanctuary. Unable to fly he crawled, searching for refuge, needing to be helped. He had made his way over blistering, hot pavement and across a three-lane highway—braving traffic, stray cats, raccoons and rats. The merchant thought the little bat was dying and had brought him to Bat World so we could end his suffering. He was indeed dying. He was in respiratory distress, his little legs swollen, his disabled wing burned and necrotic from the hot pavement. With each breath came a gasp as his dehydrated body struggled for air. But he did not give up. He blinked his beautiful little eyes as the medication and fluids took hold and eased his labored breathing.
The following day he was able to lift his head and accept food (the photo on the right shows him enjoying a mealworm). Unfortunately, his wing had to be amputated to save his life. Roadie persevered, however, and soon learned to climb and walk across surfaces just as well as an uninjured bat.
This intelligent little creature knew what he required was not to be found at the wild sanctuary. He set out on his journey to find what he needed, never losing hope. Roadie is a exceptional example of why we should never give up, despite the odds.