Just made my double espresso, and was about to enjoy this very important moment every morning, a text message came through, “We are about to rescue a bat at acacia ridge. Leaving in 5 minutes if you are available” , from my lovely bat rescue neighbour Stella. Without hesitation, I dashed to close all the windows and doors, grabbed my camera, and skolled my coffee.
I spotted the little fellow on the barb wire soon we drove into the street. There was no movement at first, which made us worried. It was a relief when we saw him then moving, he was still alive. I really felt for the young flying fox as I personally was hurt by barb wire years ago which left ugly scars on my flesh.
As I am not trained as a bat rescuer, and I am not vaccinated neither, what I could do was to pass on things to Stella, tidied up the cut barb wire at the end, and most importantly, took photos for educational purpose.
Stella was so experienced and acted swiftly; I almost missed the chance to document the process. This guy was in good hands. I wondered he might have known that as he was so calm and cooperative.
According to Bat Conservation and Rescue Qld, flying foxes play a significant role in our environment:
“…. As they move amongst the flowers of Eucalypts or Melaleuca searching for nectar, large amounts of pollen attach to their fur. When they fly to the next tree, which may be several kilometers away, this pollen is deposited on the stigma of awaiting flowers. Such transport of pollen is very important for trees such as eucalypts as they rely on cross-pollination, i.e. pollen coming in from other trees which are a substantial distance away. In the case of seed dispersal, many seeds will not grow unless they are a certain distance away from the parent tree.”
Nonetheless, there seems to have a general fear among the public towards bats. Fairly enough, I feared of bats before for different reasons including the viruses they are associated with. But in many cases, our fears come from insufficient understanding. The best way to deal with fear is to understand more about the matter in concern. What viruses bats are associated with? Could they be transmitted to humans directly from bats? How high the risk would be? What precautions we can take?
Few days ago I wrote about the drafted dispersal plan for the Flying Fox camp in Batesman Bay, NSW and encouraged people to provide feedback to the authority. Today, I witnessed one of their family members hung on a barb wire, and there have been many cases of flying foxes electrocuted on power lines in our urban areas too.
Where are our wildlife can go? Shall we share more space with them by the fact that we are not the only beings on this planet?