(Warning... this ends in a cliffhanger with no answer, only hope.)
Four days ago while working in our garage on a lazy Sunday, I happened upon a small bat laying in the bottom of a large empty pot that last summer had held a tomato plant. I moved the pot slightly to see if the bat was alive and the bat made the slightest movement, just enough to let me know not to throw him out!
I covered the pot with a tubtrug and immediately emailed the incomparable Julie Zickefoose, for advice. Julie rehabilitated two bats a couple years ago, and detailed the experience on her blog. I was careful not to approach the bat because of worries about rabies or other diseases it could be carrying, in addition to not wanting to hurt or stress it further. Julie was gracious enough to walk me through step by step everything I should do to help the bat.
I prepared a plastic critter container that once held a leopard gecko as I brought her home from the pet store. I lined it with a terry cloth towel, got a small syringe to offer water, and tweezers to offer mealworms. I donned thick gardening gloves, long sleeves, eye, nose, and mouth protection, and very gently picked up the bat. The bat's tiny claws grabbed onto my glove during the brief transfer to the new "bat house" and I was able to check the bat's underside. Congratulations, it's a boy! I named him Harry because I found him in a pot (Harry... Pot-ter... ba-dum bum).
|Do you remember the movie Ferngully, and the bat named Batty? "I have but one claw... but BEWARE!" |
I could not wait to get home that night to see how he was doing. He was much more active than the day before, and drank several cc's of water from a dropper (not all of it went into his mouth, but alot of it did!). He still did not seem interested in the mealworms, so I left some in his container and went to bed. The mealworms were still there as I left for work Wednesday morning.