Introduction: What to Do If You Find a Fruit Bat (Flying Fox)


Please don't touch it, call our 24-hour rescue hotline 0447 222 889 (Gold Coast) or 46975177 (Lockyer Valley) and we will send an experienced volunteer rescuer.
Seek Advice - If you live in Tropical North Queensland, call FNQ Wildlife Rescue on (07) 4053 4467.
If you find a Flying Fox or bat of any sort do not handle or attempt to rescue.Please call WIRES FREECALL immediately on 13 00 094 737.

If you have a flit sprayer, spray the bat with cool water to keep it cool.

OK, now on with the 'ible.

I am at a friends place, I decided to take a ride on my bike but as I approached our gate our Guava tree was shaking violently!

On closer inspection there was a fruit bat (or flying fox) in the tree, caught in fruit netting :(

I raced to the others to let them know what happened and started googling info on fruit bats, looking for a hotline.

It took a few minutes to find what I needed because the info was hidden in a bunch of blurb - this is why you can see the phone numbers above and not a proper intro.

Lets go to step one!

Step 1: Why Should We Care About Bats?

24 hour
Rescue Hotline Gold Coast (0447) 222 889

Fruit bats play an important role in coastal forest ecology.

Fruit bats are the worlds only flying mammal and are able to cross pollinate tall coastal forest trees.

Almost all hardwood species need fruit bats for pollination.

Hardwood flowers are only receptive to pollination at night, so daytime activities of birds and bees do not have any affect on them!

Fruit bats also fly much farther than most other pollinating animals, they can go up to 100km in one night!

It has been estimated that a single fruit bat can disperse up to 3000 seeds per night flight.

When a bat is caught or in trouble, DO NOT TOUCH IT!

Step 2: Why Do Bats Need Rescuing?

24 hour
Rescue Hotline Gold Coast (0447) 222 889

Bats in the wild have very few predators, however as human habitation encroaches on their habitat, bats are coming into care for a variety of reasons:

Fruit netting entrapment

Barbed wire entanglement

Dog or cat attack

Car accident

Electrocution Backyard

fruit-protection netting kills countless bats, birds, snakes and marsupials each year. Fruit isn’t the preferred food of flying foxes - they would rather eat native nectar and pollen. If there is not much native food around, however, bats will eat fruit in backyard gardens and orchards. They invariably get caught in netting. If you see a bat in a net, it will not ‘get itself out’ it will die a long, slow death. Call our 24-hour bat rescue line immediately. Do not attempt to rescue the bat – a frightened bat will bite and scratch.

How to protect your fruit The goal is to protect your fruit, not catch bats, so if you feel you must net, follow these guidelines: Use white, multi-strand, knitted netting – it deters them as it is easier for bats to see.

NEVER use black netting – bats can’t see it and are sure to get stuck.Pull netting TIGHT as a trampoline – bats are less likely to get caught in tight netting

Other bat deterrents: Place a floodlight with a movement sensor on the tree. Bats will fly away when the light turns on.Place chicken wire canopy over the tree – it will keep bats off your fruit, and they will not get stuck in it.

Barbed wire is responsible for the slow, agonizing deaths of bats, gliders, birds and small marsupials such as wallabies. If you see a bat on barbed wire, it will not ‘get itself out’ it will die a long, slow death. Do not attempt to rescue the bat – a frightened bat will bite and scratch. Cover it with a towel or sheet and call our 24-hour bat rescue line immediately. Alternatives to barbed wire Use an electric fence – a bat may get a shock, but will keep away in future!If you must use barbed wire, place a white string or electrical tape along the top wire – bats will see it at night, and will not get caught.

Domestic pets are responsible for the deaths of thousands of native animals each year, including bats and flying foxes. Prevent your pets killing wildlife by locking your cats and dogs in a secure area away from trees and shrubs at night. What to do if your pet has attacked a bat: If you can, bring the dog or cat inside immediately.Do not touch the bat – an injured bat will bite or scratch. Call our 24 hour bat rescue service immediately.

Many bats are hit by cars at night. If you hit a bat, or see a live bat on the road or in the gutter: Remove it from the road to the gutter only if you can do so safely without getting bitten or scratched. NEVER use your bare hands as the stunned animal WILL bite or scratch you.Don't put a loose bat in your car, even if it appears unconscious.

A bat that is stunned will soon regain consciousness and try to climb your arm or leg to get to safety.Cover it with a box (put a weight on top), or towel and call our 24 hour rescue service immediately.Advise us of the nearest landmark so we can find the bat. Stay with the bat if possible until a rescuer arrives.

Many bats are electrocuted on power lines every year. More often than not the it will be a female and will have a young baby usually attached to her (especially Oct to Feb). In most cases the baby will survive for up to a week on the mothers decomposing body. If our team members and Energex can get the baby down in time the baby can be raised and released. It is important to call our rescue line ASAP

Step 3: Where Do They Go After the Rescuer Gets Them?

24 hour

Rescue Hotline Gold Coast (0447) 222 889

Well, the answer may (and probably will) vary.

In the Gold coast region our bats go here:

Batavia Flying Fox Sanctuary

In 2010, Bats QLD members Gabrielle Friebe and Peter Richards purchased a 7 acre property at Woodford QLD, adjacent to a large flying fox colony for the specific purpose of providing a creche and release site for rehabilitated flying foxes.

The nightly fly-out of thousands of flying-foxes flies directly over the property.

Flying foxes from the colony frequently feed and roost in trees on the property.

A large 10m x 8m aviary was built especially to creche and release orphans and rehabilitated adults. Built on a concrete slab, snake and vermin proof and with large release hatches opening directly on to the path of the fly-out.

The inside of the aviary is fully lined with fish netting and is 4m high to allow the bats to strengthen their wings prior to release.

Nestled among trees it is the ideal release site.

Released orphans return for support feeding for several weeks.

Nearby fig trees provide shelter for recently released orphans.

Outside feeders allow the released bast to be supported with additional food for as long as needed after release.

Here is where I got the info from.

Step 4: Our Bat!

This step is a compilation of photos I took of our bat being rescued.

The man and his wife were more than happy to come around and they gave us a brochure with their website here:

They handled the bat very well and got most of the netting off the bat before putting it into a box for transportation to Currumbin wildlife sanctuary for rehab. (If you are visiting the coast, this is a must-see)

So in the end, this is what you need to do if you see a bat in trouble:

Don't touch the bat.

Assess the situation.

Call the relevant hotline.

Grab a misting bottle (flit sprayer).

Wait for the rescuers to arrive.

Show them the bat.

Let them do all the work (don't worry, they won't call you lazy...)

See them off.

Visit their website and spread the information!

I hope you found this information helpful, I would have appreciated this write up when I needed the help so I have decided to compile all the info I wanted plus more!

Don't forget to share ;D

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