Monday, November 1, 2010

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 11/01/2010

It somehow seemed apropos that I got a call on Friday afternoon of Halloween weekend (on my way from a meeting) to help a lady who had discovered bats roosting on her back patio. As I know so well, a good rescue person…especially one receiving a bat call, should be ready at all times…gloves, capture net, rescue box, and for mammals…a rabies shot. I did have a rabies shot and that was it as far as preparedness went. I was wearing a short skirt and high heeled sandal….no box, no capture net, no gloves….and no time to fly to my bat cave for a quick change and equipment grab. This is where adaptation played a part. Armed with my gym towel and my rabies shot I confidently approached the designated plaque hanging on the wall of the patio identified by the mounds of “poopie” that the owner discovered when she returned from being gone for four months.

There it was, the tiny pipistrelle bat, seemingly sound asleep. I carefully removed the plaque and rested it up against the wall out of my working way. I watched as the minute furry mammal stretched out a gossamer wing, the thin translucent skin tipped with black, reaching out slowly, ready to make a run for safety. Gym towel to the rescue, I scooped him up and secured him…no escape this time.

While successful in my “rescue”, it still made me sad. The house owner, absent for some time, had returned to find the unwanted guests “hanging out” literally on her perfect patio. She was plainly terrified and had, through a “braver” friend armed and dressed for battle, made an assault on the others in the small colony, frightening them off by rudely disturbing their slumber…how sad.

But sadder yet, were the widely held mythical notions associated with their presence. I am here to tell you that nothing got tangled up in my hair, nothing flew at my face, and absolutely nothing sucked my blood. I regularly have more trouble with the mosquitoes which do all of those things than the bats that consume the blood sucking mosquitoes by the thousands. No, this little bat behaved noblely throughout the ordeal of getting captured under a stinky towel, transferred to a container, driven to Liberty in a paper sack, being injected with fluids (it did cry out a little ‘ouch’ in bat lingo) and relocated to a temporary home.

Rebecca, our bat specialist, will care for it and ready it for release with a new colony.

I am sending out a personal invitation to the bats out there. I have a bat friendly home with mosquitoes, moths, and other flying insects galore. I want a bat colony in my yard, and I am willing to supply the bat house. They are so beneficial and to me---oh so cute. Those little fox faces with dainty furred bodies are most endearing. However, if you are squeamish (and I am not) just don’t look at the teeth. These little creatures are all beneficial and should be welcomed in instead of warred on!

1 comment:

Bethany F said...

OH Megan I couldn't agree with you more. They are so precious and I LOVE seeing them out and about. I'd definitely welcome a colony!