How you can help save flying fox pups
HAVE you seen a bat hanging on powerlines lately? Caught on a barbed wire fence or in fruit tree netting?
Chances are there could be a live baby on board. At this time of year (late September to late February), mother flying foxes carry their newborn (pups) on their bodies and if something happens to the mothers, these little ones face a slow death from starvation and dehydration.
These little orphans can be saved if they are rescued quickly, so the Mid North Coast branch of WIRES is asking the public to please report flying-foxes in trouble to them as quickly as possible - even if the mother bat seems dead.
Powerlines are a particularly nasty hazard for bats, but quick thinking and reporting to WIRES can often save the pup. Essential Energy emergency personnel will be called in to release the bat from the lines, and surviving pups are then taken into care by trained and vaccinated WIRES members.
"We don't really know how the pups survive their mother's electrocution, but somehow they often do," local WIRES Flying-Fox co-ordinator Jenny Beatson said.
"They can be saved if we are called in early enough to take them into care and hand-raise the pups until they are old enough for rehabilitation and release back to the wild.
"The public can really help by calling us as soon as they spot a bat on power-lines or otherwise in trouble. That's all you need to do - please don't touch or handle the bat in any way, and of course. Never try to remove a bat from powerlines or you risk electrocution yourself. Just call it in and we'll do the rest."