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Care and feeding of a bat

  1. Dec 3, 2007 #1

    DaveC426913

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    My wife's rolling her eyes and her head. Again.

    I caught a bat at work. For those who want the details.

    It's a little brown bat. That's an insectivore, right? Not a fruit bat?

    Going to try to keep it alive until the Wildlife Centre can come.

    I've got a 1Gal aquarium, a very tight-fitting cover, a thick blanket, a piece of wood, some mealworms and a water mister.

    Anything else?

    Does it prefer living room temperature or basedment temperature?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2007 #2

    Astronuc

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    If it is a species that lives in a cave, then I'd say basement.

    What was the temp in the building? Use that as a guide.

    I think the bats that I see around here in the summer have probably migrated south for the winter.

    A bat that size this far north at this time of year - I'd say is probably an insectore. Not much fruit at the moment - and fruit season has been over for a month or more.


    One test you could do - cut your forearm and see if he/she goes for the blood. :biggrin:


    Bats like corner or narrow little boxes they can hang in.
     
  4. Dec 3, 2007 #3

    Moonbear

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    Rabies shots for you? :biggrin: Actually, kinda serious about that. Bats are common carriers for rabies. I suggest limiting who comes into contact with it in case this one turns out to be infected.

    Other than that, give it a dark nook to hide in, and don't forget a small bowl of water. It might be too scared to eat or drink, which could be its demise, but at least make it available, and just leave it alone as much as possible so it has a chance to eat without people staring at it making it nervous.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2007 #4
    I thought that it was only the Vampire bats that were common carriers of rabies? Sure, bats can carry rabies like any other mammal, but is rabies truly 'common' among all bat orders?
     
  6. Dec 4, 2007 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Yes I'm well aware of the potential for rabies. Don't plan on getting that close.

    I think it's pretty unlikely since its surely been hibernating for weeks. I doubt it's come into contact with any mosquitos.


    I've got it under a thick blanket so it's dark and relatively undisturbed and there's a nook in the wood stump. Mostly what it wants to do is sleep.

    I'm worried that it's getting enough water so I'm misting it as often as I can. I did see it enthusiastically licking the glass after that. Cute tiny pink tongue!

    So far no interest in mealworms or the assasin bug I threw in there.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2007 #6
    Why dont you let the bat go free at nightfall? Is it hurt?
     
  8. Dec 4, 2007 #7
    To tell the truth, I do not know why nobody considered it before.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2007 #8

    Moonbear

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    He mentioned earlier (or maybe it was in the blog he linked to) that someone decided it was too cold out for bats right now...they should be snuggled up out of the cold...someplace nice like a building, or roof, or belfry. :biggrin:

    If it's licking the glass when you mist it, that's good. At least it's getting some water. I'd mist the glass more so it can keep doing that. I guess in case it's not an insectivore, you could stick a slice or two of fruit in the cage (at least the meal worms will have food).

    I usually see bats diving after flying insects, so don't know if they're attracting to crawling ones as much. Maybe you need to get some moths?
     
  10. Dec 4, 2007 #9

    Kurdt

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    Depends how big it is. I wouldn't like to catch mosquitoes for some of the smaller ones. :uhh:
     
  11. Dec 4, 2007 #10

    Moonbear

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    The bats humans are likely to come into contact with are the ones most likely to be rabid. From the CDC website:

    http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats.html
     
  12. Dec 4, 2007 #11

    Moonbear

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    According to the CDC site (linked in my post above), they mostly eat beetles.
     
  13. Dec 4, 2007 #12

    Kurdt

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    Interesting. I was going to suggest getting some crickets or grasshoppers because they have the advantage of being crawly yet detectable in the air at the same time. Plus they're widely available since lizards such as geckos are quite popular pets.
     
  14. Dec 4, 2007 #13

    Moonbear

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    Hopefully he won't be keeping it long enough to need to go to such lengths to find food. Do they still have to kill the animal to test for rabies? I don't know if there's anything more current that can spare the animal. It would suck to go to all that trouble to save the thing only to be told they have to kill it to test it for rabies. On the plus side, it's drinking water, though I'm not sure if bats exhibit the same rabies symptoms as other animals with a phobia of water. Perhaps they can just hold it for observation.
     
  15. Dec 4, 2007 #14

    Danger

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    From what I recall about bats, you can tell what it eats by its face. Insectivores have squashed up snouts like bulldogs, while nectar or fruit consumers are more like collies.
    Also, try to make sure that it has someplace that it can climb up to and hang from to sleep. Bats never roost on the ground, and don't even like to be there at all. They can't fly without falling from something, because their power-to-weight ratio is too low for them to lift themselves. I know that you don't want this thing flying anyhow, but it could be less traumatic for the critter if you can make it feel 'homier'.
     
  16. Dec 4, 2007 #15
    Fruit bats are not native in America, together with the clicking sound it suggests that it's a common microbat. It should probably be hibernating now.
     
  17. Dec 4, 2007 #16

    Math Is Hard

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    What's a microbat?
     
  18. Dec 4, 2007 #17

    Kurdt

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    Like an acrobat but shorter.
     
  19. Dec 4, 2007 #18
    The longer acrobats must be macrobats then :wink:

    Microbats are the suborder of the insectivorous bats, complete with echo location and hibernations. The other suborder is the flying foxes or fruit bats
     
  20. Dec 4, 2007 #19

    Astronuc

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    Microbats are microchiroptera as Andre indicated, and they are most common in N. Am.

    The bats we have around our place have a size on the order of small birds - e.g. large finch, like a Cardinal (up to 15 cm wingspan, and nose to tail). We seem flying around in circles at tree top to just above our heads at dusk. But those bats moved on before the cold set in.

    We've had one fly into our bed room one time. At first I thought it was a bird, but then I saw it when I turned on the light and it had no feathers, but leathery wings. By the time I found a butterfly net, it somehow managed to find its way back out the window.

    He/she should be either migrating or hibernating. It's too cold at night to release him/her, and there is likely no food. That he/she is still up north makes me think he/she is more likely the kind to hibernate, unless he/she is ill and couldn't migrate.
     
  21. Dec 4, 2007 #20

    DaveC426913

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    I have been told by more than one Wildlife Centre that releasing it will be its death. It is below zero up here and there's no food. It should be hibernating and was rousted by all the construction in the building.

    It is definitely a small brown bat: about 3" nose-to-tail, with a tiny, pug-snout, and I am sure they are insectivorous.

    So, I've made plans to drop it off at the centre.

    While I personally tend to rescue anything higher than insects, I did kind of wonder if the Wildlife Centre would bother with one little critter. I mean, if it had gone out a window it'd be dead by now anyway, right? But they do seem to have great concern for even any critter that needs it.
    ...
    In fact... as I was writing this they called me back and said "sorry, we think tomorrow evening is too late. Can you bring it in tomorrow morning? We want to get it medical attention ASAP."

    Jeez. They get better care than we humans...
     
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