Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Bat(wo)man.


Okay. So, a couple of weeks ago I came home from the beach (I know, don't cry too much for my Empty Nest Syndrome :-) to check on things and take care of the things that didn't get done while I was away and while I was changing the air conditioner filter in the basement I noticed what looked like an old banana peel on the floor. Of course, it occurred to me that there would not be an old banana peel on the basement floor and I realized it was a bat.

It seemed dead and I was upset because I like bats. They get a bad rap from widespread misinformation and vampire movies when really they're quite valuable for keeping insects under control as well as performing a vital ecological role by pollinating flowers. I carefully scooped it up in a large goldfish net and covered it with a paper plate and when I began to do this I realized it was alive.

I immediately took it outside and put it on the dew-covered ivy because I thought it was probably dehydrated. I came back out with a small eyedropper and tried to feed it some water and you know how a bat must love getting something shoved in its face when it's on its deathbed so that didn't work very well. It seemed to be a little more lively so I thought I'd just drip the water on the ivy and hope for the best. I came back out a little while later to check on it and it had made its way up three stairs!

By that time the bird rescue facility had opened and I called to see if they knew of anyone who would take a bat. They did. I called Hillary (not just BatWoman, but WildlifeWoman) and scooped up the bat (well, sort of) into a box and took it to her. It was not happy during my attempt to get it into the box and looked something like this:


Within minutes, she had the bat out of the box and into her own box with a little bat blankie and fed it an eyedropper of water (you could tell she had done this before) and then gave it a mealworm. Exhausted from all the activity, the bat took a batnap (oh, come on) and then ate the worm. It was so cute.

Alex the Big Brown Bat and Mandy the Mealworm*, Discovery Channel

There's a disorder affecting northeastern bat colonies called white-nose syndrome which has killed something like a million bats so far. So, first it must be tested for that, then introduced into a situation with other bats and then released back into the wild.

She had a couple dozen baby squirrels, a baby bunny, box turtles, skunks, snakes, rabbits, all manner of wildlife. I don't know how she ever does anything else.

Anyway, I'm grateful to her for taking care of this little guy. Oh, and since I wrote this post, the bat has been released back into the wild to terrorize other people in their basements.

*no, of course the mealworm did not have a name

15 comments:

Raina said...

You are a far braver woman than me. What a lucky little bat.

Decorina said...

I love the bats. So happy that you were able to help save him. They are great to watch in the evenings - little mosquito eating machines.

Paul Anater said...

Brava! They are being decimated in the northeast and can use whatever help they can get.

David said...

Here's wishing him a long life of eating insects and hanging upside down. But how do you think he got in the basement?

Kristen said...

He's surprisingly cute!

Anonymous said...

just to think that last week i was missing your blog and worrying about your whereabouts! i had to look the other way on this one...yikes.

Pam Kersting said...

Woo Hoo! Another lover of wildlife! I once rescued a highway hawk that had flown into an office building that I had been working on. I had to throw a blanket over it, pick the whole thing up and put it in a rather large box. Then, I had to drive it about 30 miles away to the Hawk-rescue woman. We must all do our good deeds for defenseless animals. Good job and welcome back!!

preppyplayer said...

You are good. I would have been worried that the bat was sick...rabies...
I am a coward regarding that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, and I hope it lives. I heard about this disease recently; it is something of an ecological disaster already. A bazillion more insects without bats. Not good.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I once had one get into my house, flying like a mad bat...scary, but I agree they get a bad rap, sort of like snakes.

vicki archer said...

Brilliant bat rescue....xv

erin@designcrisis said...

I love bats! Austin is home to the biggest urban bat colony in the US... maybe in the world (can't remember).

Anyhoo, they're cute and cuddly, but their poop smells wicked rank.

Jessie Carty said...

glad that bat didn't get into my house. i think my cats would have had a field day with him!

glad he found a good rescuer :)

Bellamere Cottage said...

MMmmmmmmmmm........not so hot on the whole bat thing....YIKES...

Blessings,
Spencer

nicolas de segonzac said...

Yikes, not such a big fan of bats though!

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