Man Rescues Stranded Mama Bat and Her Baby and People Are Fascinated

Shutterstock / Hermann Moller

People are often surprised when they hear that my favorite animals are bats. These elusive night flyers may not be cute and cuddly like kittens or majestic athletes like dolphins, but they are fascinating animals who are extremely beneficial to our environment, both as pollinators and as one of the most efficient predators of mosquitoes (one of the few animals I would like to see go extinct—were it not for the fact that they feed so many bats). A little brown bat, for example, can eat up to one thousand mosquitoes in an hour!

Red bats are also insectivorous, though most of their diet consists of moths, like the pests known as gypsy moths and also tent moths. Either way—bats are our friends, and should be protected.

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Many bats struggle with taking off from the ground, and some cannot do it at all. It’s uncertain whether this is true for the red bat, who has been known to nest in leaf litter, but it’s definitely the case for this red bat, found in upstate New York by rescuers at a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Related: Bat Napping With Its Tiny Tongue Sticking Out Is Just Impossible to Resist

Eastern Red Bats

Eastern red bats are a common, arboreal species of bat that have a range that spread across most of eastern North America. The bat lives in trees from southern Canada to norther Mexico, and almost everywhere east of the Rockies. It’s not endangered, and is not suffering from some of the diseases currently decimating other bat populations. But that doesn’t mean that this individual specimen doesn’t deserve rescuing.

Eastern red bats are solitary creatures, and mother often travel with their babies in tow. Though many bats give birth to singletons or twins, they can have up to five babies in a litter, and it can be exhausting for such a little creature to fly with so much weight. Apparently, it is not uncommon to see these creatures drop out of the sky from pure exhaustion, and that is possibly what happened to the animal here.

The bat in this video has at least one baby and possibly more clinging to her body. If you look closely, you can see the tiny creatures arm and toes hanging on to momma for dear life.

Only Experts Should Handle Bats

Luckily, there was a pest control management professional nearby who could help this bat find a way to take off again. Though rabies is rare, it’s certainly not worth messing with, so if you have to deal with bats or any other wildlife, a professional is your best bet.

The man in this video is seen wearing thick gloves that make it safe for him to pick up and transfer the bat. He brings it to the side of a nearby tree, where it can properly cling.

Without this equipment, the best way to move a potentially injured—but possibly just tired—bat is to slide a branch under its body so it can cling to the bark, then wedge that branch into a tree to approximate a bat’s usual hang out spot. Bats find it far easier to take off from their usual hanging restful position.

The method worked in this case, and the bat did fly off, its baby in tow.

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