Learn what to do if a bat needs help
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING:
COVID-19 AND BATS OF VIRGINIA
As of April 10, 2020, only threatened and endangered species of bats may be rehabilitated as per the director of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)
If you have found a bat the following is the guidance from VDGIF:
If you have further questions regarding why Virginia instituted these restrictions, please call the VDGIF wildlife helpline at 1-855-571-9003
We will add more information as it becomes available, so please check back!
Safely reuniting bat pups
If you have found a bat pup you think needs help and that has not bitten or scratched a person or domestic animal, please read this guide to reunite it with its mother. Please be aware that our ability to rehabilitate bat pups is severely restricted because of COVID-19.
Occasionally, overheating causes a colony to jostle for the coolest spots and pups get dislodged and fall out, or a predator gets in and causes a disruption. In ‘natural’ colony spaces, pups can climb back into the colony and reunite with mothers. However, building and bat box colonies often leave no way for fallen pups to return. If you find pups down under a known colony you can return them using a pool skimmer. If pups continue to fall, pup catchers often solve the problem.
But sometimes a mother bat does not return to the colony. Pups that are thin and dehydrated or that are found wandering are probably orphans and can be rehabilitated by trained wildlife rehabilitators.
Adult bats can get in trouble and sometimes need rescue. Grounded bats are not always sick – they get hit by cars, blown into walls, dropped by predators, get too cold or wet, get torn or broken wings, get trapped in buildings, etc., etc. If no one has been bitten and if potential rabies exposure is ruled out, injured and displaced bats can also go to qualified rehabilitators.
If you find a bat in need of help in Virginia, here are your local resources:
For other regions in Virginia, please visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website for a list of permitted wildlife rehabilitators by county, or use the great new phone app or website from Animal Help Now.
Bat World Sanctuary maintains a national list of bat helpers; click here for more information.
Bat rescue is for adults only. Please find an adult to help with any bat. Please do not touch the bat!
Please do not handle bats with bare hands or allow children or pets access to bats or other wildlife.
Safely Containing a Bat
If you have found a bat that you think needs help and that has not bitten or scratched a person or domestic animal, please watch this video to learn how to safely contain it for transport to a wildlife rehabilitator.
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