Hi Supporters of Riverina Bats I have some FANTASTIC news and some sad news. Our Bat Carer Ellen has taken custody of our wonderful Intensive Care Unit purchased with funds raised through this Campaign. Already three orphans have been made far more comfortable as a result of time spent in the controlled environment. Two Flying Fox pups and a Brush Tail Possum joey have been stabilised in the ICU and are now doing quite well.
Now for the sad news after the campaign had reached its target the funds were used to purchase the tent and the ICU. The left over funds were used to buy the sheepskin and to purchase some microbat mini homes for our vaccinated carers. This was my first Go Fund Me Campaign and I was made aware of the risks in using the funds raised. Unfortuneately $250 worth of donations (2 Donors) have been disputed by the Donors as being fraudulent activity on their Credit Cards. Stripe is the entity that handles the donations and they also deduct a penalty from the donated funds. So all together over $300 has been taken out of the funds already donated. This came as quite a shock and I have had to cover those costs. I am writing this to warn others who may use GoFundMe to wait at least a calendar month until you use any funds raise so people can check their bank statements and identify any issues. Both donors were in the US so not sure what the issue was.
I am one of a group of licenced and dedicated Bat Carers located in the Riverina Region of New South Wales. Increasingly we are being called upon to Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release more and more Mega and Micro Bats from across our region and beyond. We currently have no ability to adequately care for critically ill bats. Nor do we have appropriate facilities to allow our Microbats the critical flight training they need to enable them to be released to survive a life on the wing.
We are hoping we can raise the funds to be able to purchase an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) valued at $998.85 http://bit.ly/1GOu1Gb
and an Oztrail 3m x3m Gazebo valued at $378.00 to provide us with the ability to service the needs of the very vulnerable and fragile animals that require our assistance. The ICU will also be used for the care of other animals that are clinging precariously onto their precious lives.
If we can raise the funds both items will be located with one of our extremely active, passionate and accomplished Carers, Ellen Kemp. She has achieved so many wonderful success stories as a Wildlife Rescuer and Carer. In addition to the many hours spent rescuing and caring for many creatures in need and advising fellow Carers Ellen is a wonderful role model for her young family of four children.
This is her story:
“I’ve been caring for wildlife for just over two years, it’s something I had always wanted to do, but I had been putting it off because I had a young family. It was a childhood friend who actually convinced me I should undertake some training and see how the mixing together of wildlife and family responsibilities would go.
I’ve been lucky enough to care for quite a variety of wildlife; a tiny feather tail glider, which was a highlight because they rarely come into care here, kangaroos, a wallaby and even an emu chick. I live in a small town surrounded by farmland and the main types of wildlife that come into care in my area are kangaroos, a variety of birds and Brushtail possums.
Luckily Brushtail possums just happen to be one of my favourite animals, they were what I was itching to get my hands on when I started caring for wildlife, and they did not disappoint. They are sassy characters that love their food and are not afraid to give you a good bite if you let your guard down; they are a pleasure to care for. One happy side effect of this wildlife caring venture would be the effect it has had on my four young children, aged 6, 8, 10 and 12. They have learnt so much about our unique wildlife, not just from listening to my ramblings, and occasionally being able to interact with a kangaroo joey or quietly watch a possum explore in the aviary, but more importantly they have learnt a lot about their environment as a whole.
My kids often help me collect fresh leaves and flowers when we have a possum in care and this involves collecting small branches from a variety of different trees and shrubs. It has been wonderful to watch them learn so much from this simple task, they check to make sure the trees we collect from look healthy, they chat with each other about all the lizards and insects we see.
But I love it most when one of them looks up and sees a hollow and muses about what could be using it as a home, it is so important for people to see habitat when they look around; an animal’s home, and an animal’s food, not just scenery or landscape, and I’m proud that my kids do see habitat now.
However there are some aspects of wildlife care that my kids cannot be involved in. I’m lucky enough to be able to care for bats, which requires being vaccinated for rabies because there is a very small chance the bats I come into contact with may carry Australian bat Lyssavirus. So the bats have a room all of their own which is separate from the house. Over the last 6 weeks I’ve had the good fortune of watching a lesser long eared bat raise her twin pups that she gave birth to in my care.
It’s such a different side of wildlife care, usually we get sick, injured or orphaned animals, and sometimes we get sick, injured orphans. So this has been an absolute delight being able to sit back and watch a mother raise her own babies while in my care, not to mention that they are just truly astonishing animals. The babies went from being furless little smudges weighing somewhere around 1 gram, to being 5.5grams (which is in the adult weight range) and flying in less than 4 weeks. I feel so privileged to be able to interact with wildlife in this way. It’s not always happy, some of the animals that come into my care are beyond help, but when it is happy it is just the best feeling.
Being able to return an animal to the wild is a feeling like no other, knowing that it has a second chance at life is the reward wildlife carers get for all the bite and scratches, all the bottle washing and disinfecting, all the pouch laundering, all the browse collecting in rain hail or shine and all the sleepless nights. All worth it when an animal makes it back out to the wild.”
Please contribute what you can to help us help Ellen to help so very many lives. Her commitment is strong, let's hope we can match it please. XX