My very first experience with a Large Brown bat.
At approximately 8:30 PM on June 8th, my fiance alerted me to a sound he heard coming from the basement on his way out for an appointment. He told me that Sassy, our orange tabby, had a bird or something trapped in the basement under the stairs. I went down the stairs and looked between the steps and saw Sassy sitting and watching something trying to hide behind a board. It was dark under the stairs so I couldn't really tell what it was so I had my fiance get me a flashlight. By the movements I was guessing it was a bat. Once I got the flashlight I was able to tell that it definitely was a bat! I left the flashlight on one of the steps and proceeded to remove items out of the way so that I could get under the stairs to rescue the bat. Luckily, Sassy had been declawed before she came to us so she couldn't use her claws to get the bat out from the edge of the board.
I placed a towel over the top of the bat and gently lifted the bat and wrapped the towel around it. I took it upstairs to the bathroom so that it could relax and I could get some photos before returning it to the wild. I don't know why but I thought it was a male. I never looked under its' belly to check.
I placed the bat on a towel on the towel rack because I knew it would try and hang from something. The bat allowed me to take photos and I made sure the flash didn't flash in the bats' face. I knew enough to know that bats, all as far as I knew, were night creatures and the light from the flash would be way too bright for the bats' eyes.
I finished taking photos as I didn't want to stress the bat out more than it already had been from Sassy. I put it in the tub on the stool that had a wet towel on it. I heard the bat 'lapping' up the water and then I remembered there was most likely shampoo/conditioner and soap on it so I had my friend hand me a plastic fish container that I had. I put a towel in the bottom of it but also made sure it didn't go up the sides where the bat could climb out. I put the container under the bat and used the wet towel to move the bat into since its' claws were still holding on to the wet towel and I didn't want to hurt it by forcing it to let go.
Knowing that the bat was thristy I put a little tap water into a small lid and placed it in front of the bat. I can tell you that THAT bat was thirsty! I don't blame it. It had a really rough day.
After the bat had finished drinking what it wanted from the lid I took out the lid. I set the container on the floor and made sure part of the towel was over the bat, turned out the night light to make it really dark in the room. Closed the door and went and watched a movie. I closed the bathroom door to make sure the dogs nor the cats could get in there to bother the bat.
Around 11:15 PM I went to check on the bat to see how it was doing. It looked like it was doing ok but when I reached in to touch it on the back I could tell the bats' temp had royally dropped and it scared me! I knew I had to get the bats' temp back up or it would die. I scooped it up in the towel and held it close to my chest blowing my warm breath over it as I sat at my computer to look up information about a bat's body temperature. To my amazement there was a site that was a rescue for bats! http://www.batworld.org/. I
started searching the site for any information that would help. When I clicked on the 'skip intro' it took me to a page titled: RESCUE, REHAB, RELEASE & SANCTUARY. I never realized there was a place out there for rescuing bats! I was happy to know it at the same time. I could find someone that knew more about bats then I did and would be able to help it survive after the horrible day it had.
On the left side of the site was a list of links site. I clicked on LOCAL RESCUE. This link took me to another page with a cute animated bat carrying a medic box. It gave me a big chuckle. There was a map so I clicked on the state I live in, OHIO and that took me to another page with a listing of cities, names and phone numbers. I chose the one in Columbus with the name Jennifer and called the number. Jennifer didn't work there any more according to the man who answered the phone. He gave me to a lady named Cindy. I let her know that I had saved a bat from one of our cats. We talked for several minutes. She did let me know about the cautions to take when handling the bat and rabies.
What really surprised me was how calm the bat was! I was expecting it to constantly try to bite me but the bat never did. That made me happy. I still was caustious to be on the safe side.
Before hanging up Cindy said she would try and get ahold of someone in my area to pick up the bat. Being as late as it was when I called I understood. She told me that if she couldn't get a hold of anyone she would make arrangements the next day to have the bat picked up. I asked her how would I get the temperature up on the bat and she asked me if I had a hot water bottle and I responded "No" but that I did have a heating pad. She said that would work and to put it under the conatiner with the bat but only under half of the container. When the bat was warm enough it would move away from the heat. I told her "thank you for all the information" and we hung up.
I placed the heating pad on my bed with a shirt over it, the heating pad had lost its cover a long time ago. I then placed the container over the heating pad so that only a portion of the left side would heat up. I gave the heating pad a few minutes to start heating up the towel the bat was on. It was starting to heat up so I gently and slowly lifted the towel where the bat was hanging on so that the bat would slide down into the little area I made for it. The bat stretched out and seemed to be enjoying the heat. I reached in and put the back of one of my fingers on its' back to check to see if its' temp was coming up. YAY! The bats' temp was coming up and I was VERY relieved!
When the bat started to move off the towel I saw something behind it and thought to myself, "Well, it probably had to go to the bathroom sometime." Then I was in shock as 'whatever it did' MOVED! I had to have a closer look and to my excitement and very much surprise it was a BABY BAT! This bat was a female and just gave birth to a pup! *I found that word on the net and that is what bat babies are called.*
We named the pup 'Myricle' because it was a miracle that it was born at all. Myrical was born at 11:40 PM on 6-8-09. I had to take some more photos of the new mommy and her pup! I wanted to have photos of my experience with them. I may never get another chance like this again. I kept taking photos but made sure I wasn't disturbing her while doing so. I watched calmly as she cleaned up her pup. I knew she was going to be a good mommy bat. I was happy about that. Every 5-10 minutes I would check the temp of the towel she was on by placing the back of my index finger down on the towel.
After 4 shots with the camera I realized I could use the video recorder on our digital camera and began using it. The videos are also included here. I was happy to hear Myricle 'squeaking' every so often.
The next day I got a call from a woman, sorry I forgot your name, that was going to be coming to pick up Myricle and her mother. I checked on the bats again and I was shocked to see a dead pup in the towel! I didn't see Myricle and thought that she/he might have died during the early morning hours but then after looking closer I realized this pup was a SECOND pup! I found the first one under mom's wing hanging on tight. I had a feeling she was going to have another pup because it looked as though she was having more contractions. I felt really bad for the second one. I don't think it was quite ready to be born or it had been injured during the mom's ordeal.
Around 10:30 AM the woman came knocking on the door. I hated to see Myricle and her mom leave but I knew it was best for their survival as I knew nothing about bats. Even as I write this article I miss them. I think about them every day and wonder how they are doing. I don't know if they survived or not. I hope so. A new life is a miracle even in bats!
Because of my experience with Myricle and her mom I am much more aware about bats. I have been reading quite a bit on the net about them. I also believe that Myricle and her/his mom are known as 'Big Brown Bats'. I have looked at pages on the net about housing for the bats. We have been considering putting up a 'house' for bats but placing it in a safe place away from predators.
On the http://www.batworld.org/ site there is a link to "Species Information". I clicked on 'DIET: Bats and Plants' and it took me to this page which is very informative, http://www.batplants.co.uk/insects.htm.
I believe as http://www.batworld.org/ does that the more people that learn the truth about bats the more they will want to protect these wonderful creations of nature as much as possible as I do now.
Amber, the name of the woman I couldn't remember her name earlier, just dropped off the container she took the momma bat and baby in.(12:05 PM)
I asked her how the momma bat and Myricle were doing. Amber told me that the momma died that afternoon but that the baby was still attached by the umbilicord and was doing great. Amber said that the baby was eating like a horse and is growing nicely. I'm sad to hear that momma bat died. I am happy though that Myricle survived. Myricle had a rough start and momma went through a lot to have her babies and luckily one of those pups survived.