When a couple of workers from the Beach Hotel at Byron Bay went to the waste bins at the back of the hotel, from the bin they heard the cries of a creature.
Amongst the garbage they found a dead Flying fox, clinging to her body was her pup.
One of the workers, Emile, called WIRES for help.
WIRES volunteer Annie responded to the urgent call for help and was soon on the scene. The female Black flying-fox pup had no injuries apart from being cold, dehydrated, stressed and very hungry.
She was given a warm bath, comforted in a soft wrap and rehydrated. She was assessed as only 8 days old.
Mum was examined and found to have sustained and fractured wing, it is unknown if she was dead or alive when she was thrown into the garbage bin, however it would have been very hard to miss the baby clinging to her body.
Imagine a World where the song “Give me a home among the gum trees” didn’t exist… Well, without Flying-foxes it wouldn’t have!
Flying-foxes are the main pollinator of all hardwood eucalypt on the east coast of Australia. They perform a vital service, keeping our native plants and forests healthy. They are irreplaceable in the ecosystem providing a very important role.
Some Flying-fox species can travel up to 50kms in one night.
As Flying Foxes move from tree to tree drinking nectar, they collect pollen on the soft fur on their bellies.
Flying-foxes not only pollinate blossoms but they also spread seeds from the fruit allowing new trees to grow.
Some native trees only release pollen at night, making it perfect for our nocturnal bats.
Therefore: More trees = Habitat for wildlife + oxygen for us to breathe.
It is hard to imagine how anyone could be so heartless, but thanks to Emile and staff from the Beach Hotel at Byron Bay quick action, this little keystone species will live.
She will be raised with other orphans and when grown and flying will be soft released into a rainforest setting where she will help ensure our forests are pollinated, and that we have oxygen to breathe.
Pictures by Lib Ruytenberg