Flying foxes in trouble

fruitbat unfolding wingsDarren and I last week rescued a black flying fox from  a bardbed wire fence.  We were not expecting to do a rescue that day  – just happened to see hum as we drove past – so we were not well equipped, and had to ask local residents to supply a towel to throw over her, wire cutters, a pillow slip to put her in etc.

Some folk were very helpful, and we obtained everything necessary.  One just said ‘who cares?’ and another said he’d take a cricket bat to it.

No matter whether it is an animal you want living near you or not ( they are delightful and intelligent creatures, but some people fear them or resent having some of their fruit eaten or just don’t like them for whatever reason) they are animals capable of fear and pain just like any other, and should not be left to suffer.

We have just read that the grey-headed flying foxes (like the one pictured here) in Sydney are encountering more netting than usual in back yards – netting that is placed loosely over fruit trees to deter the bats but often entangle them, and the bats slowly starve if not rescued.

Netting needs to be tight enough that birds and bats cannot possibly tangle in it.

Do NOT try to handle a fruitbat unless you have been vaccinated against rabies, as some of them carry lyssa virus.  Call a bat care society (in southeast Qld: Bat Conservation and Rescue) or RSPCA for help.

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