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Bats for Biodiversity is a group that supports each other in Community Bat Monitoring to increase awareness of bats in our environment.

 

Black Headed Flying Fox in care

By Rhianna Blackthorn

Although I generally work with reptiles, my other great love is working with bats. Flying foxes are such amazing unique animals, often misunderstood and feared for the wrong reasons. As you can see from this photo, they are inquisitive animals who have strong emotional displays. Mentally, they are the equivalent of a three year old human child with the ability to solve problems, play games, have basic understanding of voice interactions and express emotions.

Robbie is a Black Headed Flying Fox - a vulnerably listed species in NSW. He came into care at just 17 days old when he was found alone on the ground at Casino. He was clinging to the ladder of a slipper dip in a child playground when a toddler almost trod on him. The child's mum called us to come and get him. Local bat handler Melanie was able to pick him up and bring him straight to me for care. He was cold, and distraught when he came into care, but responded well to treatment and was soon gaining weight. Robbie would spend 60 days in my care before he was transfered to a release creche. The release creche is a huge flight aviary located right next to a wild colony. Of a night, the wild bats come down and talk to the rehabilitated juveniles, educating them as they do the wild juveniles of the colony. Within no time, our once tame bats are no longer needing human support, and reject human contact. When this occurs, the creche doors are opened. Within moments, our hand raised babies fly off to join the wild bats without a thank you or second thought - just the way it should be!




Photo: Alissa (Grey Headed Flying Fox) is on the left and Robbie (Black
Headed Flying Fox) is on the right.

Updated January 11, 2017  

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