Cllr Eleanor Rylance

Working hard for Broadclyst District Ward Learn more

Bats, and a big thank you to dedicated volunteers

by cllreleanorrylance on 3 July, 2018

Vladimir the baby bat. ⚠ I’ve now found out that you shouldn’t handle them without gloves or a cloth because they can carry rabies. Don’t do what I did!

We are extremely lucky to live in such a rich and varied natural environment. Yesterday, I learned what to do if you find a floored (but still alive) bat. The answer is, pick it up delicately with a cloth, put it in a box and call the bat conservation trust immediately.
This happened to me yesterday (or rather, to a juvenile Pipistrelle). The first question the BCT asked was “do you have a cat?”. I do, so I was asked to take the bat to a lovely Bat Lady in Exeter. She looked after it yesterday afternoon, rehydrated it (given that it had spent most of yesterday lying in a corner of my house, it was probably a little thirsty…). She said it was about 2 weeks old, and that many bat babies are getting lost at the moment as they lose their milk teeth which allow them to cling to their mums, can’t really fly yet and are also a little too large for their mums to hold onto.
To cut a long story short, wonderful Bat Lady returned the bat at dusk last night to our house. She put him (for he was a he, and I’d named him Vladimir) in a tray perched on a stepladder, turned on her bat monitor, and we sat back to wait for its relatives to turn up.
Two bats in particular became very interested in the stepladder, and began circling it in 5 m circles, at what Bat Lady Sarah said were very low altitudes for bats.
After a few minutes of this (and bearing in mind it was getting quite dark by then), everything went quiet. Bat Lady said she’d check on the baby to make sure he hadn’t jumped off the stepladder. He’d gone! Mum must have picked him up really quickly without us noticing. So a successful reunification with his family. Nice job, mum!
And a big shout our to Bat Lady Sarah who brought him back despite feeling very unwell! Where would we be without wonderful volunteers?

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