"Station? You mean the Police station?" I spluttered.
"That is correct. We found him hanging around the Harvey Norman store, threatening the customers. His name is Fox."
"What? I don't know--"
"First name is Flying," said Constable Westman.
"A bat?" I almost laughed.
"Yes, sir. If you would come to the station please and remove him we would all be most grateful. No one can get near him because he growls and we're a bit (long pause) concerned"
I walk into the front office of the Dubbo Police Station armed with gloves, towels and a rescue cage and identified myself to the desk constable. "I see you got the bat signal," she said as she handed me a Planet Ark reusable calico shopping bag. "What happened you your face?" she asked.
"I walked into a d- uh- the wind slammed the car door into my face."
"We had a few of those last night."
I jiggled the bag slightly which felt too light. "Are you sure the flying fox is in there?" I asked. Red flying foxes weigh almost half a kilo. Whatever was in there weight almost nothing.
"Oh yeah! He's in there."
I opened the bag a little and peered in. The long ears were an instant give-away. "It's a long-eared bat!" I said, and reached in to pick him up. He was huge! "In fact, it's a greater long-eared bat." The bat bared his teeth and flared his wings.
"He's cute," said the desk constable.
"Yeah, isn't it," said the Sergeant from the other side of the room, standing behind a row of low filing cabinets. "So it's not a baby flying fox?" he asked.
I explained frugivores and insectivores, lyssavirus and migration, the benefits of bats, and showed them this one's male bits. Constables clustered around, the Sergeant stayed where he was.
So now I have the first bat of the year in care. He's not injured but he's a little thin and probably only needs a little R&R. Two hours ago I almost wrote here that for the first time in many months I am without a bird or animal in care. I'll have to hold that post off for a while.