Hercules (the mini), Echo, Ivy, Zeena, Avalon and Luna!
The Intensive Care Unit …
One Little Pup Now Content …
This is an incredible, unforgettable rescue which occurred on the evening of 20 November 2012!
I received a call during the morning of 20 November 2012 from a lady who was about to receive some very young bat pups – 6 in total – after being rescued by a lovely gentleman at Morgan. This was a brand-new experience for me and what a challenge it was going to be!!!
The little ones – here is South Australia, we call them Western Broad-nosed Bats (Scotorepens balstoni) – had been found in a fallen hollow spout of a very large Eucalyptus gum tree which had been destroyed in very strong winds at Morgan.
I was able to pick the little sweet pups up that evening, brought them home to a lovely warm humidicrib, and the feeding and husbandry of these tiny little ones began!!!
I am so grateful for the help from Rachel Lyons, Wildcare Australia; Amanda Lollar, Bat World Sanctuary; Terry Reardon, our Adelaide Bat Specialist; Jenny Maclean, Tolga Bat Hospital – just to name a few of the wonderful, experienced Microbat Carers/Rehabilitators always willing to help us care and prepare these special little mammals for release back to where they were found.
The first thing that I needed to discuss with our Bat Expert, Terry Reardon, was whether these little bat pups were to be placed back into their environment as soon as possible, to enable their mothers to return to feed and care for them once more. The option was there to return the hollow spout (reattached to a close-by stable tree) with little ones inside, ready for this to occur. The tricky part was whether the mothers WOULD return to care for their young again – were the mother bats killed when the tree fell down – were they injured and were unable to return to their babies! Unfortunately, I could not spend the week at Morgan observing whether this was occurring, so the option for me was to try and care for the pups until they were self-feeding on flying insects and flying extremely well ready for release back to Morgan.
So the humidicrib, a Brinsea TLC 40 Advance was their home for the next few weeks! They were fed lovely warm milk and warm water, cleaned, groomed individually every 2-5 hours, depending on how full their little tummies were, from early morning to very late at night!
Why didn’t I separate them and offer other Bat Carers the opportunity to care for them? Well, because they were so bonded, I didn’t want to separate them and I was coping okay with all the husbandry. We didn’t know whether they were triplets, twins, or single young births, as the Western Broad-nosed Bats can have triplets, once a year!
There were 4 female pups and 2 male pups. I decided to call them Team 5.5 because there seemed to be only 5 1/2 bats! Little Hercules was the tiny one – a little mini! He still had very fine velvety fur (with little on his abdomen!) which indicates that he is less than 4 weeks old!
All six little pups now had names: Hercules (the mini), Echo, Ivy, Zeena, Avalon and Luna!