Going in to bat for ‘rescue season’
ANIMAL rescue groups are expecting a busy spring after an influx of hungry flying foxes into Adelaide from drought-stricken NSW and Queensland.
Bat Rescue SA has made a funding plea on GoFundMe, expecting a “massive rescue season”, and citing a more than doubling of the Botanic Park colony from 10,000 bats to 22,000.
“They come from interstate because of the lack of food from the drought,” co-ordinator Sue Westover said
She said volunteers had rescued about half-a-dozen bats caught in barbed wire in recent months and expected more call-outs this summer.
Ms Westover is hoping to raise $5000 to buy a new aviary and equipment to cool the heatstressed bats down and rehabilitate them.
Volunteers also need the funds to transport and release the bats interstate – a costly $1500 trip.
“Hand-reared babies and heat-stressed bats have to be with adult males when we take them over in what we call a soft release, where they learn to fly in a larger aviary,” Ms Westover said.
There have been sightings of flying foxes in Angle Vale, Athelstone, Croydon Park and inner southern suburbs including Black Forest, Mitchell Park and Millswood.
Earlier this year, SA Health warned the public not to touch any potentially-diseased bats that fell dead from trees as temperatures soared above 40C.
Ms Westover said not all bats carried the potentiallydeadly lyssavirus but urged the public to ring the bat hotline 0475 132 093 if a distressed bat was found.