Photos (c) China Blade 2012
The bat in the photo above isn’t with us anymore. Like many bats that come into care, he came in with injuries which were too severe for him to recover. What’s unique about Meatloaf is that he was the first bat cared for by Leigh Yeates, one of this year’s new recruits to the bat care network. Due to the strange weather this year, the bat season is lasting a little longer than usual, and there were many pups born later than usual, so juvenile bats were still being found well into September.
The problem with all this is that September is the month in which the National Bat Conference takes place, and unusually this isn’t a problem, but in the case of 2012, it meant that all of the bat carers in the area were away at conference while calls were still coming in.
So leave it to Leigh to step up to the plate – she not only collected Meatloaf, but she cared for him over several days – with only long-distance telephone support. In the end, Meatloaf’s injuries overcame him, which isn’t the most rewarding outcome for a new carer, but Leigh understands that she DID the most important work – not only did she enable the bat to die warm, hydrated and in relative comfort instead of cold and stranded, but she undertook vital PR work for bat conservation in our area, by communicating with Lauren, the householder who found him, and by going the extra mile to keep Lauren updated on Meatloaf’s progress.
So a huge thanks to Leigh and to Lauren for everything they did for Meatloaf – it still goes down as a success in my book!