February 17th, 2002


Bats - ...and that would cap off a lousy day

The rescue call came on Friday when I was 5/6ths of the way through a 6pack of James Squire Porter Ale, so I was in no fit state to drive. I rang the lady and discovered her house is only 1km away, and asked if she could bring the animal to me. I explained why and she laughed.

Eddie is a male broadnosed bat, like Donk but much heavier and a good 25% larger. The lady found him in her swimming pool, clinging to the liner of the skimmer box. To say he was hanging on for his life is no exaggeration: if he let go he would've been sucked down into the filter.

I was handed a very wet, cold, and cranky animal. He was shivering badly and his wings were rather limp, possibly from the hours of exertion hanging onto the wall half immersed in a strong water flow. The lady said only his head and wing-tips (I think she meant thumb-claws) were above the water.

My main worry is that water got into his lungs. I put him in a tent so he could dry out. That night he ate 10 whole worms. I considered putting him in the flight cage with Donk but it started pissing down with rain. A day in a swimming pool followed by a night in a wet cage would have really capped off Eddie's lousy day.

Last night he ate about 30 whole worms and had a fight with Donk. I'd brought her inside because the flight cage is damp, and fed her by placing her worms in the floor* before putting his worms in his tent. She became excited, ran into his tent and dived head first into the dish of worms he was eating from. There was a brief growl and squeal, and I found her huddled in a corner looking rather shocked - and eating a worm.

Eddie is looking much better after 2 night of dry R&R. There's still no sign of pneumonia but I'll give him a week to make sure.

*Donk becomes so excited when she smells the worms, the only way to get her to relax is to put her on a cloth outside the tent and drop the worms in front of her as fast as I can kill them. If I'm not fast enough she fly-hop-runs after my hands. She still isn't flying as well as she could, but she's a lot better than she had been..