facts and care advice


Insectivorous bats have sharp teeth so handle with care. Handlers need to wear gloves as this prevents any bites.

Injured, sick and baby bats are often suffering dehydration. They need to be bought into care as soon as possible for fluid therapy. Orphaned Bats will need to come into care as they require a special bat milk formula.

Bats can be transported in small calico bags, pillow cases or a container with a secure lid with air holes. Bats are great escape artists so be sure that there are no small gaps for them to escape from. Keep them in a dark and quiet area until you can get to a bat carer or vet.

Most bats come into care have severe wing injuries and will need to be assessed by an experienced bat carer or vet.

Bats do not survive well in captivity and do not make good pets. Bats require special feeding and housing needs and need to be handed into an immunised carer who has the correct diet and facilities set up.

Look for any signs of broken bones e.g. protruding bones, droopy wings, swelling, grazes, puncture wounds, bad coordination, spider web entanglements, laboured breathing. Check wing and tail membranes for any tears.

The bat must be released in the same area as it was found so if you did not rescue the bat yourself please find out from the rescuers the exact location it was found and pass that information on to the bat carer or vet.

The picture shows a Goulds Wattled Bat with a tear in the wing membrane and a broken wing bone.

Some bats may carry a virus called lyssavirus. Australian health authorities suggest lyssavirus poses a low public health risk.

However they strongly recommend that anyone scratched or bitten by a bat should immediately wash the affected area with soap and water and contact their local doctor.

Great care must always be taken when handling bats. A pair of thick gardening gloves should offer enough protection as bats only have tiny mouths.

All bat carers must be immunised and approved by The Department of Environment and Fauna Rescue to care for bats. Fauna Rescue has several immunised bat carers across Adelaide.


*These are only very basic initial instructions.  Please contact your nearest Wildlife Group and speak to an experienced carer for more information or to organise to place the bat into care.

Injured Wildlife Hotlines

Wildlife Rescue:
(08) 8289 0896
Koala Rescue:
1300 KOALAS (562 527)
Bat Rescue:
(08) 8486 1139
Duckling Hotline:
0412 810 345

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