Trish Wimberley, the Director of The Australian Bat Clinic and Wildlife Trauma Centre (previously) in South East Queensland, demonstrates how to swaddle infant flying foxes, making them look just like “baby bat burritos”. These adorable bats were orphaned when their mother died due to an extreme heat wave that hit the area. According to the clinic, the bats need a lot of care while they are young, but will be released into the wild once they are old enough to survive on their own.
When a bat mother dies, often their young are still attached and will not survive without the right care. Bat carers play a vital role in not only retrieving suffering bats, but rehabilitating them until they can be released back into the wild. When baby bats first enter rehabilitation it can be traumatising for them as they have just been separated from their mothers to which they have formed strong bonds. Bat carers have to ensure that the baby bats not only are well fed, but that they are nurtured and feel safe in their temporary new home. Providing affection to the bats is a necessity. The teats represent their mother’s nipple, and this makes them feel more comfortable, as does the security of the blankets which they are often snugly wrapped in. The bats will remain at the Australian Bat Clinic until they are old enough to be released.
The clinic rescues thousands of baby bats every year, which can get a bit expensive.
Trish Wimberley looks after hundreds of orphaned baby bats and rears them until they can be released into the wild. It’s a tireless, never ending job which keeps her awake all hours (she apparently went 3 nights without sleeping once). A typical day may include feeding (the food is about $1000 a week), health checks, doing their laundry (the dryer and washing machine electricity bill costs up to $8000 every 3 or 4 months!), bat transportation for release — everything they need in order to survive.
Donations are always welcome and can be conveniently made via PayPal.