It’s a good day to be a bat!


Alvaro had been hiding in the cage for the last week or so, not being found or fed by our volunteers, but flying early to catch the most moths in the flight cage and doing pretty well on what he was able to catch. We’d see him flying but he’s so fast that he was super hard to net for a checkup. We finally netted him last night and fed him full of mealworms before getting him back where he belongs, out in the wild!
Great to get to know you Alvaro!  You’ll be in our hearts and on our minds. Live Long! Watch out for the owls!


Wooly, the southern yellow bat, munches on a mealworm. He’s heading south today with his northern yellow girlfriend.  We’ll miss you dude! You were so much fun to hang out with! Live long and prosper! Make lots more baby southern yellow bats!

Vitals:
full weight (g)
forearm (mm) 45
body mass index (weight/forearm)
total length (mm)
nose to base of tail (mm)
tail (mm)
length foot (mm)
length of ear from base of tragus (mm)
tragus
wing span (mm) center to wingtip x 2=


Look out world, The Class of 2017 is on the loose! Well, reds and evening bats, anyway.
Now that the heat of summer has passed and ponds and tanks are full, it’s a perfect time to get the pups out and let them establish territories before winter.
What fun to see the precocious pups bolt out immediately, followed by the mums, and watch as they circle back and coax out the others. After a half hour all were hunting the treetops, circling high above in the night sky!
Blessings little pups! We’ll miss you! Live long and make lots more baby bats!

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Born June 2015 near the San Gabriel River, Gabe was just a pup when he somehow managed to escape from a predator and was found by 5 year-old Hope in a pasture near her house.

Who knew, that in the ensuing two years, he would bring so much joy to so many people, serving as the best ever ambassador for his species. He charmed every single person who ever glanced his way, and those of us who cared for him felt so lucky to have shared a loving bond with this proud and charismatic little dude.  He only had one wing but didn’t care, he loved his job, giving thousands of people insight into the lives of leaf bats everywhere.

Gabe passed 31 Aug 2017, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  We escaped property damage from Harvey, but what a blow it was to lose our beloved Gabe a few days later.  In the midst of all this tragedy, a piece of our hearts has forever been lost from our corner of the world. Love you so much bud.
Surely, wherever he is now, he has both his wings and playmates to join him in shredding the night skies.

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Bats have hard lives in the best of circumstances, and we recognize the cycle of life regarding wildlife mortality (and natural disasters) as the way of the world. So what difference does it make if one bat dies? Well, we have chosen to open our hearts to those in need. We feel that extending the circle of compassion to include all earthlings (wildlife included) helps mitigate at least some of the needless suffering in the world, and we’re doing what we can in our little corner. It’s tempting to numb the heart as a response to tragedies large and small, but we choose to feel the joy and sorrow to better do our work.

Love is a big part of the rehab process and most wild creatures respond when a tractor beam of caring is focused on them. Gabe gave us so much in return for our efforts. And even in these times of tragedy on a state-wide and global scale, we feel his loss as keenly as any in our extended family circle. We would hope his memory will serve as another hotspot of kindness, just one in a great mosaic that radiates out into the world.

Just as knowing one bat makes the experience of seeing millions fly out of a roost that much richer, knowing one bat magnifies the loss of thousands in a disaster. We also weep for the human suffering in Houston, but are thankful for the joys and sorrows of this amazing gift of life. Thanks for keeping us in the here and now, Gabe.

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Here is Hope as she proudly receives our heartfelt thanks for rescuing Gabe back in October, 2015.

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His left wrist was fractured and dislocated and his wing membrane torn, and he also had a hole in his furry tail membrane.  His wrist injury had undergone contraction by the time he was brought to us, so any efforts to repair would have caused even more trauma and more fractures. But he was so happy to have been rescued, and he repaid us with years of joy and unbridled enthusiasm with each mealworm he consumed. He had an indomitable spirit!

Here is a radiograph of his dislocation, an injury we were unable to repair and that ultimately called for removal at the wrist.

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We were in the process of creating a prosthetic for Gabe when he became ill.
A new wing was being designed, with bones 3D printed from ABS plastic, and silicone membranes were to be attached.
We were so excited about the prospect of his flying some in the aviary and it breaks our hearts that we were not able to do this for him.

We’ll never forget you Gabe

 

 

 

 


Hearts out to Waugh and Watonga Bridge bat colonies displaced from the horrible flooding of the Houston bayous, and thanks to all the caring Houstonites who reached out to us for information about how to help them. We are a small facility with limited resources and are in awe of our colleagues at Bat World who mobilized a large response to help the bats and their rescuers. We continue to be available by phone and email for information and to take additional bats from the Houston area if necessary.

Good strong emergence from Congress Avenue Bridge last night, some to the SSW and most to the SE.
Congress Bridge is 40 feet above the Colorado River and has not flooded since the bat colony moved in in the early 1980s. We have had bats displaced from the 9th St. Bridge, which is 12 feet high over Shoal Creek back in the surprise Memorial Day flood of 2015.  The next day the crevices were filled with anything that could float and when we dug out the flotsam and jetsam, no bats were found trapped behind the debris.  Our take is that the bats bailed out of the bridge as the water neared the crevices. The colony has since rebounded and seems as strong as ever, with many thousands flying out each night.

Our hearts ache for the people of southeast Texas, and for the bats in the bayou bridges of Houston. We hope and believe that they will rebound and again occupy those bridges in large numbers in the near future.

 

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