23rd October 2018
One important part of the work done by the National Bat Helpline is to provide immediate care advice to people who contact us after finding a grounded, injured or orphaned bat. When necessary and possible, the Helpline will pass on details of a local bat care contact from the UK Bat Care Network. Carers on the Network will try their best to rehabilitate and care for any bats they receive. The lucky ones that fully recover are released back into the wild in the same area where they were found. Some bats’ injuries don’t heal in a way that enables them to have a good chance of survival in the wild, and these bats are often kept as educational bats. Educational bats often visit schools or attend outreach events and offer members of the public a rare opportunity to see bats up close. Bats are often highly misunderstood and undervalued, so the contribution made by educational bats should not be underestimated since they are ambassadors for all bats!
In 2017 alone, the National Bat Helpline received a total of 7,494 enquiries regarding grounded, injured or baby bats. The Helpline is only able to help thanks, in large part, to the UK Bat Care Network which, in 2017, was made up of 358 individual carers, 12 regional Helplines and 11 wildlife hospitals. Their amazing dedication and commitment to saving bats is something we try and support in several different ways. This support ranges from maintaining the Bat Care Network list, encouraging more people to become bat carers, supporting carers with any questions they may have, organising training and conferences and producing the Bat Care Guidelines. The guidelines are in fact distributed to an even wider network which includes veterinary practices.
All the amazing work Care Network members do is voluntary and relies on personal contributions and/or donations. This year we are lucky enough to be able to offer a little bit more to one lucky carer thanks to a very generous donation from BillyOh.com (https://billyoh.com/): one of their 8x6 BillyOh Master Apex sheds with extras, worth almost £400. Space is something a lot of people on the Bat Care Network struggle with – space to store all the supplies needed, or even somewhere for bats to test their flying skills to make sure they are fit to be released back into the wild.
Everyone on the Bat Care Network has been invited to enter a draw to win the shed and over 40 of them have done so already. The opportunity is open until the end of October when we shall be announcing the lucky winner. We would like to thank BillyOh.com for giving everyone on the UK Bat Care Network this opportunity and we are would also thank everyone involved in the Network for everything they do for bats and bat conservation.
More information about the National Bat Helpline here.
More information about bat care here.
Photo credit (c) Peter Crome/ www.bats.org.uk
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