It must be remembered that bats are scared, wild animals. Like any other wild animal, they may bite in self-defense if handled. As a rule, avoid handling bats altogether as it is stressful for them.

A bat should only be handled if it is necessary to remove it from a house or out of harm’s way. Never stretch out a bat’s wings or hold it up by the wingtips; this is very distressing for the bat and can result in broken bones.

To handle a bat use a soft cloth or thick gloves, allow it to grasp the cloth with its feet as this reassures it. Let the bat’s head stick out of the cloth so it can breathe comfortably.

Bats in the House

On summer nights it is not unusual for bats to chase insects into houses through open doors and windows.

If this happens:

  • Turn off any ceiling fans.
  • Turn off the light.
  • Open all outside doors and windows. to let the bat escape.
  • If the bat lands somewhere gently pick it up in a soft cloth, take it outside, hold your hand up high and open the cloth allowing the bat to fly away.

Grounded Bats

Finding a bat out in the open on the ground or a wall in daylight is unusual and the bat is probably in trouble. The bat will be cold to the touch because it is torpid.

Is it a Pup?

Many people assume a small animal must be young but this is not necessarily the case. Baby bats are born pink and without fur, gradually fur grows along the back and eventually down the chest and belly. A baby will also not have fully developed teeth. If you think that the bat you have found is a baby. then the best thing for it is to, first of all, try to get it back to its mother.

Is it Injured or Dehydrated?

Most bats found grounded are dehydrated and cannot swallow or chew properly. To test for dehydration gently pinch a fold of skin up over the shoulder blades – a healthy animal’s skin will drop back again immediately. If the bat is dehydrated or has obvious injuries then put it in a soft cloth and put it in a box somewhere quiet.

Release the Bat

If the bat has no obvious injuries and is not dehydrated then keep it in a soft cloth in a box during the day and try to release it that evening. Place a little water in a shallow jar lid in the box so the bat can drink.

To release a bat that can survive on its own then do so as soon as possible after dusk and near to the place you found it. Place the bat on a ledge as high as possible to allow it to drop before starting to fly. It may need to sit for up to 30 minutes to warm up and examine its environment before starting to fly.

Don’t release a torpid bat: if it doesn’t warm naturally (most bats will warm themselves in the late afternoon) then place it on a hot water bottle or heating pad for an hour before releasing. If the bat will not fly after 30 minutes, or if it tries to take off but can not fly then put it back in the box.

Please call the Bat Interest Group before making any rash decisions, we will be able to help you make the right call and take on the bat if it is not releasable immediately.





Bats as Pets

Bats are indigenous wild animals that need the company of others of their species in order to thrive. Many children that find a bat would like to keep it as a pet. To do so would be not only cruel to the bat but illegal as well.

Bats live a long time and need very specialized care. Only people who have been trained and who have special permits are allowed to keep and treat bats. If you or your child would like to get more involved with bats then join the Bat Interest Group and get involved in our batty activities.

Eventually, if you are suitably dedicated, you can get the training, experience, and permits necessary to look after them properly.

For immediate assistance with an injured or orphaned bat, please scan or click on the QR code to join our WhatsApp Helpline.