Baby bat burritos: Carers swaddle orphaned pups following deadly heat wave

Baby bats are treated at the Australian Bat Clinic & Wildlife Centre (Australian Bat Clinic & Wildlife Centre)


A recent heat wave — temperatures soared to 44 degrees Celsius — in Australia overwhelmed thousands of bats near Brisbane and the Gold Coast, leaving more than 450 pups orphaned.

Those “heat-stressed” baby flying foxes are now at the Australia Bat Clinic, where carers are trying to recreate the security they felt with their mothers using snug blankets.

According to Wakaleo Animal Channel, “when a bat mother dies, often their young are still attached and will not survive without the right care. Bat carers play a vital role in not only retrieving suffering bats, but rehabilitating them until they can be released back into the wild.”

“When baby bats first enter rehabilitation it can be traumatizing for them as they have just been separated from their mothers to which they have formed strong bonds. Bat carers have to ensure that the baby bats [are] not only are well fed, but that they are nurtured and feel safe in their temporary new home. Providing affection to the bats is a necessity.”

“The teats represent their mother’s nipple, and this makes them feel more comfortable, as does the security of the blankets which they are often snugly wrapped in.”

The bats will remain at the clinic until they’re old enough to be rereleased into the wild.

The Australia Bat Clinic is depending on donations to be able to feed the 450 pups. Once they’ve all graduated to a solids diet, the bats will consume about $2,000 worth of fruit every week.