5th May 2010
This week a Gould's Long-eared Microbat found himself in a very sticky situation. A member of the public placed sticky fly paper around his home to catch flies and other insects, but unfortunately, caught more than he bargained for.
An adult Microbat that had been attracted to the prospect of an easy meal of juicy flapping insects became stuck to the paper. The male Gould's Long-eared Microbat, weighing a mere seven grams, was no match for the highly sticky glue on the fly paper and the more he struggled the more he became stuck.
The Australia Zoo Rescue Unit responded to the call for help and travelled to Woodford to free Tim and take him to the Australian Wildlife Hospital for veterinary treatment.
After being removed from the paper, Tim still had glue stuck over his tiny furred body and delicate wing membrane, which was carefully cleaned off. Canola oil was applied directly to the areas affected by the glue and then rinsed clean with warm soapy water. Tim was dried with paper towel and placed in a humidicrib to help maintain his warmth while he recovered from the anaesthetic. Dr Claude also injected Tim with 0.5mls of subcutaneous fluids to help with his hydration and prescribed oral glucose water every two hours plus regular offerings of mealworms.
The following day Tim was placed with a qualified bat carer to assess his flight ability and to give him time to recover from his exhausting ordeal. Tim was then released back to Woodford.
As with all sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, extreme care should be taken when they are encountered as they can scratch, peck or bite no matter how small or cute they seem, especially when dealing with any species of bat as they can carry disease.