This bat was brought in by a member of the public after it had been attacked by a cat. His right wing was broken and the fractured bone was exposed sticking out of the skin. The only option was amputation but before we did this we got in touch with a local bat rescue organisation to make sure he could be cared for, for the rest of his life.
Once we had done this the surgery was performed, but the rescue organisation could not pick him up for 24 hours so Michael took him home to look after him until then. He was housed in a cat food box on the kitchen table, an appropriately, fed on that same cat food (mashed up so it will go in a syringe), and water, also given through a small syringe.
He was named Bernard and right from the start he was very angry hissing and trying to bite when ever handled. This behaviour is good because it shows he is feeling reasonably well. He ate and drank greedily, even just a few hours after the surgery and was very active, crawling around inside and outside his box. Bats are often like this and take food in such an un natural way and in such an un natural environment readily.
Cases like this raise the question about keeping wild animals as ‘pets’ particularly when they have had surgery which means they cannot behave normally. Bats do seem to cope with this well and there are lots of people out there who will look after them and are licensed to do so.
Remember in this country bats are legally protected and it is a criminal offence to;
- Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat
- Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats
- Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)
- Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat
- Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost
We wish Bernard well.