Baby Bats Also Suffering Under Severe Heat

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Baby Bats Also Suffering Under Severe Heat

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jul 27, 2006 5:54 am

<img src="" align="left" hspace=10 vspace=5>From dogs and cats to cows and horses, this month's historic heat wave has claimed a variety of victims across the animal kingdom. In downtown Sacramento, the blistering heat has even caused serious problems for one of the nature's most misunderstood mammals: bats.

For several days, local bat rescuers have been working to save dozens of baby and juvenile bats from a handful of downtown Sacramento bat colonies, many succumbing to the severe heat and dehydration.

Exploding Head Gallery owner Jodi DeVries said as the heat continued, she began seeing scores of exhausted bats crawling in the alley behind her 12th Street gallery. The young bats either fall, or get shoved off of their perches by adults, looking for more room in the heat.

"I'm not a big bat fan, but I kind of feel sorry for the little guys," DeVries said.

Last weekend, state park ranger Mark Hada began noticing falling bats near the California State Railroad Museum, where a colony of more than 1,000 Mexican free-tail bats live in the crevices under the freeway.

"Over 107 degrees, it really got to be a problem, especially on Sunday when it got to be 111," Hada said. "When it got to be 111, we had 70 bats."

The growing number of swooning bats brought out members of the California Bat Conservancy, who have been injecting the fallen creatures with life-saving fluids. The bats are then marked and put back with the colony. Hada said it appeared the hydration was working for most of the struggling bats.

Experts say that to avoid rabies concerns, anyone who comes across a downed bat should leave the creature alone. If you come across a bat on the ground, you can call the California Native Bat Conservancy at (530) 642-2731.
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Wayne Harrison
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