How To Safely Transport a Bat

by Jennifer Howard

A little while ago a big brown bat had woken up and needed to come to us. Sadly, they do occasionally get disturbed or uprooted during their hibernation and once awakened, they will not survive winter.

Great care must be taken to transport them safely. This article features a little female that was recently admitted to the Centre. The caring people were told to put her in a box, tape it closed, and put air holes in the box. Unfortunately, one of the air holes was too large. The bat got out, however, it was caught up again carefully and put back into the box. But when they taped over the hole, they only taped the outside, leaving the bat exposed to the tape on the inside. The rescuers did not realize it would climb up and climb it did. Remember, this was not a sick bat but a healthy one and therefore it was active. When Sarah, one of our Procyon Wildlife volunteers and directors, opened the box, there was the bat, stuck to that tape.

The job to get it unstuck began; it was very stressful for this little bat. This could have been avoided if the hole had been taped inside the box as well, thus leaving no sticky tape for that bat to get caught upon.

Unfortunately, this bat also got tape on its tiny foot and wings. Crystal, our Animal Coordinator, was able to get it off the foot, but the wings are slightly damaged on the edges in a spot on each wing. Hopefully, she will heal okay. She is eating well and active. She was very feisty once her tiny body was free of all the tape, like, “that feels better!” To view a video of how the tape was removed from the bat, please click here.

Pics of the little female bat:

Here is what you will need to safely transport a bat in trouble.

  • Make sure first that you wear gloves to protect yourself from being bitten,
  • A piece of small fleece can be put in the box for the bat to hide under and clutch to.
  • Many tiny air holes poked in the lid or around the top of the box are best.
  • Have the container ready to go so when it’s caught it can go right into that container
  • Once you have caught the bat and placed it in the box, make sure the lid fits tight, then carefully tape only the lid down. Or you can use a plastic container, but again, with many tiny air holes.
  • Then cover the box with a small towel to keep the bat calm.
  • Then call us at (905) 729-0033 to make arrangements to get it to us ASAP.

But no food or water please because we will take care of that later, and make sure absolutely no tape can be accessed by the bat inside the container. They can get into real trouble and actually can die if it’s too bad. Remember, they are very tiny animals and easily stressed.

Call us to arrange admission. Transport to us and we will take it from there. And a big thank you for your help and caring. We cannot do it without you.

HELP is in YOUR hands
Jen Howard
Procyon wildlife volunteer/ photographer,
Beeton, Ontario

How To Safely Transport a Bat
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