Hospitals For Bats, Hedgehogs, And More
March 4, 2015 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Australia's Tolga Bat Hospital (slogan: "Batting For Australia"!) has many adorable patients . Meanwhile, one of England's shelters, Tiggywinkles, is home to "sick and injured hedgehogs, badgers, wild birds, foxes, even reptiles and amphibians."
posted by purplesludge (16 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
When I was a kid we used to get crisps at the hippy health food shop in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin that benefited St. Tiggywinkles. Had a lasting influence on me! Glad they're still around.
posted by jamesonandwater at 4:31 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Bat Squee!
posted by ursus_comiter at 4:36 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


why do those bats have diva cups in their mouths
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:44 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


My granma's neighbour used to work for tiggtwinkels. Me and brother got to play with baby hedgehogs.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 4:46 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


That bat hospital is the one with all the indoor clothes drying racks, right??? full of bats????

dies of squee
posted by tigrrrlily at 4:49 PM on March 4, 2015


Bats are ridiculously cute! Really enjoyed reading about all that Tolga does to take care of their charges - the fact that bats enjoy toys (not sure where this clip was taken, but still - awww) delights me to no end.

Lately I've been sort of hooked on the webcams showing the rescued bats at Bat World; it's fun to watch the drama every night as the largest fruit bat smacks down anybody who tries to get at her salad bucket, and the chatter and impatient squawks as they wait for their nightly feedings cracks me up. These hospitals and rescue centers look like a pretty good place to be a critter!
posted by DingoMutt at 4:53 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love that all the baby bats have markings around their eyes that make them look like old white-faced dogs. I expect them to wag their tails arthritically and go for very slow, thorough walkies.
posted by theweasel at 4:53 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love the little batties from Tolga and other Aussie carers. Definitely check them out on Facebook where they post heaps of cute pics and videos (Battie Blue, Batzilla etc).

The things in their mouths are pacifiers or dummies, to replicate the feeling on holding on to their mothers nipples (which they do to stay attached to them while hanging or flying). The nipples are up under the armpits.

The white face markings are from the Spectacled Flying Fox, we also have the black, grey headed and little red.

There are a lot of issues with the Queensland government and their treatment of flying fox colonies, for example trying to move colonies using helicopter noise, gas and water spraying, all during the baby season which left a lot of little babies forcibly abandoned by their mummies. Also, fruit netting and barbed wire sees a lot of these little guys injured or killed.

I think they are so cute!
posted by Youremyworld at 5:34 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


> why do those bats have diva cups in their mouths

I assume it's some kind of feeding thing but... yeah, those sure do look like diva cups don't they.

Everything about this post is excellent.
posted by rtha at 7:15 PM on March 4, 2015


Lately I've been sort of hooked on the webcams

AHHHH there are bats talking and swinging on toys and eating and stuff and it's awesome! Batcams for the win!
posted by rtha at 7:20 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I want to pet them all!!!
posted by tickingclock at 7:46 PM on March 4, 2015


Just a note - Tolga is a town, rather than the name of an organisation. I am pretty sure not all of the town (or if you are from the UK or Europe, think village) is taking care of the bats. Nothing against the 800 or so inhabitants of said town - I have been there a few times (and driven through it many, many times) and it is a nice enough place. I am actually tickled to see it mentioned on MeFi. That said, I know there are some people in Tolga, and lots in the Atherton Tablelands in general, really don't like them.

Though Tolga is also a name in Turkish, so you could imagine some nice Turkish guy spending his days looking after flying foxes.
posted by Megami at 10:30 PM on March 4, 2015


So cute! I grew up with bats in my bedroom – long story, darkest part of house, thus, bat love.

Have already told the story of my bat visitor when I lived in Nice, but I have another from Australia!

A few years ago the lovely-in-many-ways MeFite honeybarbara invited me to Perth. It was not long after Miss Pipistrelle had graced my apartment in France. I was walking past one of Perth's many parks one evening, and noticed something black and furry on the sidewalk. It wriggled. I bent down to have a better look. It was a bat!! It was struggling, unable to fly, but had no visible injuries. I found a stick it could grab onto; eventually it did. It squeaked in that tiny, almost-inaudible chirp bats have and let me carry it all the way back to honeybarbara's place. We found a dark corner for it outside on her patio; it slipped into a narrow opening and was gone the next morning. We hope because it had managed to rest and recuperate; we'd left a little bit of water for it. (You can't leave too much because they drown easily.)

Bats are very nice creatures, and once you're familiar with their chirp, you can hear them in cities where they're present at nightfall. I loved walking around Nice in the dark, pipistrelles everywhere! They eat loads of mosquitoes.
posted by fraula at 2:01 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Would you have gotten that close to a distressed bat in a place that is not rabies-free? I saw a bat struggling on the sidewalk once in the daytime in California. I didn't want to get close, because I thought it might be rabid. Or was I just being paranoid?
posted by Anne Neville at 7:53 AM on March 5, 2015


Would you have gotten that close to a distressed bat in a place that is not rabies-free? I saw a bat struggling on the sidewalk once in the daytime in California. I didn't want to get close, because I thought it might be rabid. Or was I just being paranoid?

Everyone has their own risk threshold, but I would have helped the bat. Batworld (er, I'm not affiliated with them, I'm just a huge dork for their cute bats) has a page about what to do if you find a distressed bat, and the practices they recommend would make me feel safe enough.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:59 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lordy, those are adorable. If I could ever find a place that has bats that fly in the evening here in Spokane, I'd go there just to watch them - it's been years and years since I lived near them.

Maybe I'll build a bat house and see if they come ...

In the meantime, thanks for a great post.
posted by aryma at 1:53 PM on March 5, 2015


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