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Bats

Bats can and will bite. They should not be handled bare-handed. Their teeth are tiny but sharp, so welder's gloves are excessive—use logic. Illustrated on the flowchart below are non-manual methods of moving bats which may be appropriate in your situation.

The attention paid to coat color in the flowchart is the result of the differences in behavior of foliage-roosting bats (the colorful ones) and crevice-dwelling species. Most bats found indoors belong to the latter group.

Bats are in trouble from white-nose disease and habitat loss, so do not do anything you fear could cause harm. This includes you getting bitten. Even though the likelihood of a bat being rabid is 0.5%, officials will kill any that bite you if you report it or consult a doctor, no matter the circumstances. If you feel you cannot handle the situation as described below, call a rehabilitator.

Capturing and transporting a bat requires a small (at most shoebox sized) box ventilated only by knife slits (if deemed necessary.) They can exit holes a quarter by half an inch. Staple a terrycloth washcloth to the side of the box and line the box with another so the bat can grip on it when in transit. Get it to a rehabilitator ASAP.

DO NOT try to rehabilitate it yourself. Even if it only needs supplemental feeding, supplying appropriate food in sufficient quantity is very difficult. If you do become interested in helping bats, you can look into conservation organizations like Bat Conservation International, or even apprentice with an expert in bat rescue.

[Thanks to Bat World Sanctuary for the use of their rescue illustrations-BatWorld.org]


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