Emergency Bat Rescue

NEVER HANDLE WILD ANIMALS, INCLUDING BATS, WITH YOUR Hands

A bat is a wild animal. When it is picked up it will bite. Bats are small, so when they are on the ground, people tend to approach them. When they are sick or injured a bat often lies quietly and looks calm until they are touched, then they will try to protect themselves. Humans should never touch a bat without protecting themselves. We wouldn’t pick up an injured or sick raccoon or feral cats without protecting ourselves, but somehow people don’t stop and think about the dangers of being bitten by a bat. If the bat is touched with bare hands, the bat must be tested for rabies; this means the bat will need to be killed. If the bat escapes, the person should contact their health provider to evaluate the need for rabies vaccination. Many animals do not show symptoms of rabies until the disease has progressed. Signs and symptoms vary between species. Generally bats do not become ferocious when they display signs of rabies. They don’t foam at the mouth, or have other symptoms for which we are more familiar. Just because a bat is not acting vicious doesn’t mean it’s not sick. For more information see the CDC website.

If the bat is flying inside the home, open the doors or windows. Turn inside lights out and turn on outside lights. The bat will follow the bugs which are attracted to the light.

If You Are Sure No Contact Has Occurred

  1. Wait until the bat is motionless. Move slowly and calmly.
  2. Cover the bat with a box or container. Contact NorCal Bats at 530-902-1918.
  3. If the bat must be moved, wear heavy gloves for your safety and the safety of the bat. Use a small box or coffee can and a piece of cardboard to scoop the bat into a box or other small container.
  4. Place a cloth such as t-shirt material (nothing with loops that can catch the bat’s toes) in the box to give it a place to cling and hide. Water can be offered by placing it in a very shallow container (like a baby food jar lid).
  5. Make sure the box with the bat is safe from predators, pets and children; in a calm quiet place, out of the direct sun.
  6. Call, don’t send e-mail for a rescue. Contact NorCal Bats at 530-902-1918 or the California Department of Fish & Game for a wildlife rehabilitator in your area.
  7. Do not attempt to rehabilitate the bat on your own or try to keep it as a pet. Bats have very specific dietary and environmental requirements. A trained rehabilitator will be familiar with the needs of the various bat species. Also, it is not legal to keep any wildlife as a pet.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER: 530-902-1918

How We Rescue Bats

We receive calls from homeowners, veterinary offices, businesses and other wildlife rehabilitation groups. A volunteer retrieves the bat and the animal is evaluated.Bat Rescue

Orphaned bats are fed special formula and cared for around the clock until the bat is old enough to fly. It learns to eat insects then joins others in a flight cage to build up its strength. Once ready, it rejoins a wild colony.

Adults may need medication, repair to a broken bone, hydration or other types of care. We work closely with a veterinarian to provide proper treatment. The bat is taught to eat mealworms and given a chance to heal and recuperate. Once it is restored to a condition of good health, it is released to the wild.

If an animal can not be released due to complications that would prevent its success in the wild, it is evaluated for suitability in our education program.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER: 530-902-1918