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  1. #1

    Injured baby animal - what should I have done?

    On my way back home from my nightly walk I saw heard some noises and saw some movement in a pile of leaves. I looked and I saw a baby bat with a wounded wing being eaten by ants. :(

    I got kind of freaked out by this and was wondering what to do. At first I thought that I should clear away the ants and move it somewhere, but I couldn't find anywhere else to move it to and I didn't want to risk injuring the bat or making it suffer any more by moving it away. Then I thought that maybe I should kill it quickly so it wouldn't suffer so much, but I didn't know how to do that easily - there weren't any rocks or sharp objects nearby and the only way I could think of that might work in a hurry was to jump on it, which frankly scared me and I didn't do it.

    I really wasn't sure what to do so in the end I said a prayer for the bat and went home. My mom and my sister suggested maybe bringing the bat back home so that at least it could die in peace. For some reason I didn't think about that when I was there - I guess I was too freaked out and confused. I'm not sure that would have been any better though - moving it might have hurt it even more.

    In any case I am still pretty shook up about what I saw. I haven't been able to sleep since then, (it's 6am in the morning now) which is I guess why I am writing this post! I keep asking myself whether there is anything else I could have done, like screwing up my courage to kill the bat quickly, or maybe brushing aside the ants. My sister makes a good point though, that since I really didn't know what to do I should not blame myself so much. Her point is also that if the ants were already there, it meant that the bat was going to die anyway, and it's nature's way of taking care of things.

    What do you all think? Was there anything else I could have done? What would you have done?

  2. #2

    Re: Injured baby animal - what should I have done?

    Firstly, a warm welcome to the forum, Riann! For you to be so concerned about this issue shows that you are truly an animal lover. Please drop by the introduction section to say hello and tell members something about yourself and your pets.

    It is difficult to answer your question without knowing where you live. There is an elevated risk of infection from contact with bats in Australia (see http://access.health.qld.gov.au/hid/...savirus_fs.asp). In the USA, there is a tiny risk of rabies if bitten. In most of Europe, however, the risk is minimal, provided you always wear gloves.

    Your profile does not state where you live, but judging by the time difference of your post I would guess that you live in the USA. In that case, in order to handle the bat you would need to have gone home to get some gloves, as the mimimum precaution (preferably medical gloves covered with thick material gloves on top). You would also have needed a large dustpan, to act as stretcher, to avoid damaging the bat. You could have taken it home to recover, but this is not generally recommended (see http://batworld.org/pet-bats). Wild animals are best left in the wild.

    In your place, I probably would have gone home for some gloves and a large dustpan and brush. I would then have very gently moved him on to the dustpan and examined him closely, without touching. If the injury was serious but looked treatable, I would have taken him to a vet. Or if it looked like the injury was superficial and he would recover by himself (e.g. he was merely shocked after a collision with an object - this happens with young bats), then I would have moved him to a secure place, away from the ants.

    However, your sister is right. You did not know what to do at the time and you must not blame yourself too harshly. Learning to forgive yourself is sometimes harder than forgiving someone else! But you need to put this incident behind you. The best way to do that is to move on and to think positively: to learn from the experience and resolve to all you can to help animals in the future.

    You clearly have a lot of compassion, as a lot of other people would have just walked by without even thinking to help the bat. Your heart is in the right place. My very best wishes to you!
    Last edited by LPC; 08-19-2014 at 08:59 AM.

  3. #3

    Re: Injured baby animal - what should I have done?

    A very warm welcome to the forum, dear Riann.

    It's good that you cared. I wouldn't beat yourself up about it. There was very little you could have done without thick gloves and even then you couldn't really have removed the ants without harming both the injured bat and ants ....

    Sadly the desire to alleviate suffering does not always correlate with the opportunity to alleviate suffering ...
    All this talk of religion, but it's how you live your life that is the all-important thing.
    If you set out each day to do all the goodness and kindness that you can, and to do no harm to man or beast, then you are walking the highest path.
    And when your time is up, if you can leave the earth a better place than you found it, then yours will have been a life well lived.
    http://holy-lance.blogspot.com

  4. #4

    Re: Injured baby animal - what should I have done?

    Thank you very much for your replies. Now I feel better and not so guilty - I have a bad habit of "beating myself up" over things. :( Since I am also an animal I should care for myself as well!

    I live in Singapore, a small country in Southeast Asia. There are quite of lot of bats nesting in the trees near where I live. I guess one of the baby ones must have fallen down.

    The suggestion about the dustpan and gloves is an excellent one and I will do something similar if there is ever a next time...however I think if I had done as you said my mom would have had a fit when I brought the bat back. She can be a little superstitious about these kinds of things.

    Also like knightofalbion said, I was worried about even touching the bat - just like we shouldn't move injured people without knowing what to do, the same goes for animals.

    In any case I still feel kind of bummed out but I will try to look at it as a learning experience. Thanks again for your kinds words and advice.

  5. #5

    Re: Injured baby animal - what should I have done?

    I'm glad that you feeling better and not givng yourself a hard time. Regarding bats in Singapore:
    "Nipah and related viruses are also associated with the same group of bats in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa, although outbreaks of disease in humans have so far been limited to Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Bangladesh. Both viruses can cause severe respiratory and neurologic disease in humans."
    (from http://www.cdc.gov/features/bats/)

  6. #6

    Re: Injured baby animal - what should I have done?

    Quote Originally Posted by LPC View Post
    I'm glad that you feeling better and not givng yourself a hard time. Regarding bats in Singapore:
    "Nipah and related viruses are also associated with the same group of bats in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa, although outbreaks of disease in humans have so far been limited to Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Bangladesh. Both viruses can cause severe respiratory and neurologic disease in humans."
    (from http://www.cdc.gov/features/bats/)
    That means... Indonesian bats are safe, right?

 

 

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