Updated: Nov 1, 2019
One of our amazing volunteers Sophie has been doing bat care with us for nearly two years. She took on the important role of surrogate bat mother this year and wanted to share this story with you all.
In June this year a lady rang Bristol Bat Rescue as she had found two bat pups in her garden, so Nai and I went to the rescue! We always try and reunite baby with mum so we stayed for a few hours to try and reunite them with their parents. Unfortunately the reunite wasn't successful and we actually nearly lost one of them, as she ran off down the garden! Afterwards, I named her R2-D2.
As both pups were dehydrated, stressed out, and mum was no where to be seen, we decided the best course of action was to hand-rear them. They were both girls and I named them R2-D2 and C3-PO. I hand-reared both pups for a while, getting up every three hours night and day to feed them milk. It was very intense work.
Nai then took over as more pups started to come in. They were returned to me on the 20th July, after I dropped 22 bat pups down to the North Devon Flight Cage to be flight trained and then soft released back into the wild.
R2-D2 and C3-PO did not go down to the flight cage until early September so they were with me for a rather long time, and I grew quite attached to them both. C3-PO took a long time to eat by herself but I made sure that R2-D2 was with her until she was ready to go down to the flight cage, as I felt it was important that they were not separated.
The finder who originally found these two pups, after we showed her what to do, actually managed to successfully reunite lots of pups with their bat mum after they had fallen out of their roosts. So even though R2-D2 and C3-PO were not able to be reunited many of their brothers and sisters were. This is a perfect example of how communicating and working with the public is vital when trying to save our bat species!
By Sophie Rippington