Meet the Little Red Flying Fox (Pteropus scapulatus): a species of Megabat native to northern and eastern Australia. It is the smallest Flying Fox currently on mainland Australia, weighing only 300-600 grams. This poor guy was found caught on barbed wire. He is the 6th one to be brought into our care this week!
This bat has sustained serious injuries to his wings (holes and tears) which may heal (partly or fully) with some much needed rest. The wing tears can possibly be repaired by a vet. To complicate matters, the bat has also been left fully exposed to the hot Australian sun for an unknown amount of time and we are not yet sure how badly this has affected the bat. It is now resting in a large, leafy enclosure and we are monitoring its food intake daily. We’re not yet sure if he’s going to make it, fingers crossed!
Barbed wire poses a huge threat to many native animals, who become entangled when they do not see or can’t clear a barbed wire fence. ArkAid Wildlife Hospital in the Northern Territory has written a great informative post about this and HOW YOU CAN HELP TO CHANGE THIS.
If you find an animal caught in barbed wire, please:
1. Call your local wildlife rescue centre: leaving the rescue up to someone experienced will reduce the risk of injury to yourself and further injury to the animal.
2. Provide the animal with shade.
3. Reduce stress to the animal as much as possible (avoid movement, excessive noise and other animals)
4. Never handle a bat unless you are an experienced carer, especially not with your bare hands! This is not only for your protection, but also for the bat’s!