Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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The lady on the phone was telling me a depressinly common story. We brought in some firewod, and when we split open a log there were two bats inside," she said. "I think one has a broken wing."

Wellington is 40km east of town and if it wasn't for the lack of size, harbour, airport, and places of interest it would be exactly like Wellington NZ, only less interesting. I found the house, knocked on the door and was greeted by a happy kelpie barking at me. My doorbell sounds exactly the same, I thought. The lady asked if I was there for the bats, and handed me an old gardening glove. Looking at me from the wrist was a freetailed bat, and I could see immediately her left wing was broken. There was no sign of the other, but the little finger was full of something small and growly.

"Do you want this glove?" I asked. The lady said no so I stuffed it into my bat bag and tied the end.

By the time I arrived back in Dubbo the freetail had left the glove and was climbing around the bag. The little finger was still growly so I put it in a tent and hoped th eoccupant would climb out while I euthanased the injured bat. After doing The Deed I checked the tent, but it still only contained a glove that growled at me. Time for the trusty Swiss Army Knife.

Half an hour later I was holding a peeved little forest bat. Now there's a thing. You don't get different species roosting together. I can only guess that the bats must have come out of different logs, and since they were both female I have to wonder what happened to the rest of their maternity colonies.

M iweighed 4 grams and was very thin. She is young, probably born last year, and I don't think she did enough pre-winter hunting. She would certainly die if she was still in the wild. Last night and tonight she ate the guts of 6 meal worms, and is looking a lot fatter already. I hope she'll start eating whole worms soon.

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