Some may like it hot, but not Australia’s Fruit Bats. A spring heat wave with temperatures over 100 degrees F has killed many adult Fruit Bats, leaving their babies orphaned and in need of care. That’s why the Australian Bat Clinic and Wildlife Trauma Center has been inundated with rescued baby Bats in recent months.
Photo Credit: Adam Cox
Entire colonies of Gray-headed Flying Foxes and Black Flying Foxes have been wiped out due to the extremely high temperatures. Often, when the mothers die, their babies are still attached to their teats. Without immediate rescue, these babies will face the same fate as their mothers.
When the baby Bats enter rehabilitation, rescuers’ first jobs are to help the babies feel secure and to feed them. The rubber nipples tucked into the babies’ mouths help them feel as if they are still attached to their mothers’ teats. When the babies are wrapped in tiny blankets (causing the babies to resemble little Bat burritos), they feel safe in their temporary home. A little affection from the rescuers helps too.
After a few months, rescuers will release the baby Bats back into the wild.
Flying Foxes are Bats that feed primarily on fruit, pollen, and nectar. The world's 60 species of Flying Foxes are found in tropical regions. Unlike insect-eating bats, which are usually smaller in size, Flying Foxes do not use echolocation to find food. Instead, they have well-developed senses of smell and eyesight. Many species of Flying Fox are threatened with extinction due to illegal hunting and persecution.
See more photos of the baby Bats below.