October 29, 2015

Are you as fascinated by bats as I am? I love to watch them come out just after the sun sets and begin to feed on insects on summer nights. I have not seen as many in recent years because we have a fungus called "white nose syndrome" endangering the Brown Bat here in North America. Scientists are still trying to find a way to protect our native bats. 

A different species, a large fruit bat known as the Spectacled Flying Fox, is facing its own challenges in Queensland, Australia.

It turns out that the problem for these bats is ticks, which dig into the bats’ skin and inject a paralyzing poison. Once their feet are paralyzed, they can no longer hang upside down from tree branches to sleep, and they die. 

The time of year when the ticks are most plentiful is also the time when most baby flying foxes are born, so rescuers realized a number of years ago that they needed to come up with a plan to save these orphaned baby bats.

Veterinarians in Queensland set up the Tolga Bat Hospital, and hundreds of orphaned baby fruit bats are being rescued each year and raised at the hospital until they can be released into the wild. 

Isn’t is good to see these magnificent wild animals being cared for by humans?


Photo: Jurgen Freund / naturepl.com 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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