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"Alissa" Grey Headed Flying fox

By Rhianna Blackthorn

Grey Headed Flying foxes are a vulnerably listed species, and their numbers are on the steady decline. This spells disaster for our environment as Flying Foxes are a "key stone species". This means that
they are a vital part of the environment. They are the largest method of seed dispersal for rain forest plants.

Alissa is a Grey Headed Flying Fox, and is a lucky bat to be alive! Her ordeal started when her mother flew into power lines and was electrocuted. While her mother died instantly, Alissa did not, and was stranded on the lines, cling to her dead mothers body. Neighbors noticed her there, and thought she would die fast, so they left her to die. Two days later, she dropped to the ground, and clung to a fence, screaming for her mother. Again, neighbors just left her to die. Eventually, a visitor to the neighborhood spotted her, and called us to rescue her on 5th December, 2006. When I got Alissa, she was a scared little 50 day old bat. At this age, she was too young to care for herself and was totally dependent on her mother for her survival.

Burns to her wing membrane and stomach were visible, as Alissa had received a secondary electrocution while she clung to her mother.

A week after she came into care, her burns healed nicely, but she remained very unsettled and emotionally needy. There is no doubt that this young lady had an ordeal, and the scaring she received was more than just physical. Her agony was long as the neighbors had just left her to suffer. Alissa remained in care with me until she was 80 days old, in the company of another bat in care named Robbie. When she could fly, she was moved to a release aviary where wild bats could come and educate her on how to be a wild bat. She was released with her fellow rehabilitated bats into the wild population that were frequently visiting her in February 2007.
Alissa's survival instinct was great, and she will now live a full and productive life.

Updated March 2021  

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