Meet Elvis, an orphaned Flying Fox.
Bats are often victims of road accidents and getting caught in barb wire or tree netting. This article is about Elvis a flying fox, who was lucky enough to be rescued. Elvis was found on the road after his mother was hit by a car. He was taken to Currumbin Wild Life hospital where a foster home was found for him. Jasmin Croft an RSPCA worker at the Currumbin Valley Community Farm became his foster mother.
Looking after a baby bat is, in some ways, like looking after a human baby!
Here are a few similarities:
Bats have dummies. Yep hard to imagine but they do! You see in real life the bat would be suckling its mother, feeding and helping it to hold on to her body when she is flying around. Baby bats will cry if they don’t have their dummy, as the dummy makes them feel secure.
Bats need to be fed during the night. Yes that’s right, Jasmin feeds Elvis bat milk every 4 hours until he is four weeks old, then five hourly until he is weaned off milk and can begin to eat fruit.
Bats go to Bat Crèche. All teenage bats who are in foster care attend Bat Crèche. This is so the bats can learn to behave like a bat. For example during their time at Bat Crèche they will learn how to fly, learn to find food in the wild and learn how to clean themselves. Bat crèche prepares the bats for release into the wild.
When Elvis is old enough to be released he will graduate from Bat Crèche. Elvis will be transferred into a release aviary, which is a large flight aviary that is close to a bat colony. Bats are social animals that live together in a camp. Being close to the colony in his aviary, Elvis will meet and interact with wild bats. When Elvis has made some new friends from the colony he will be released into the wild. If you see a sick or injured bat please don’t touch it as, although rare, it may be carrying Lyssavirus, which is similar to Rabies. Gloves must always be worn when handling bats. If a bat needs help call 1300 264 625 or 1300 ANIMAL for a trained professional.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to become a bat carer you can contact your local bat rescue organisation. To become a bat carer you will need to attain a vaccination against Rabies and attend an orphan bat rearing training course. Being a bat carer is normally a voluntary job for people who are passionate about our local wildlife. You can also get further information by calling the number above.